How important is sleep and recovery for to maximise muscle growth?

Let’s be honest, how many of us really get enough sleep each night?

Well I can say I haven’t had enough sleep since 2012.

Anyway lets get to the serious business.

Sleep isn’t only important for your recovery but also for muscle growth and fat loss (if that is your goal) and unfortunately many of us don’t get enough of it. If you don’t pay attention to your sleeping habits, then you will find it difficult to progress as a healthy athlete or achieve your full potential.

The importance of sleep serves many functions for the importance of recovery and muscle growth.

Most of us live a fast paced life, so normally sleep is neglected but with the following tips, you can improve on your sleep and recovery.

During infancy, childhood and adolescence, sleep plays an essential role in development, as it is the time of day when the largest amount of growth hormones is secreted.

The quantity decreases significantly but, these hormones continue to be secreted in adulthood, boosting protein synthesis, which is essential for muscle growth. This process plays an important part in the recovery from physical effort, as it helps consolidate the worn-out cells in the muscles of the athlete, as well as forming new ones.

Therefore, this is how (and when) most muscle is built.


We all lead different lives, with many factors that can influence sleep patterns (young kids, shift work, changing environmental seasons etc) but the following tips are indispensable for creating a sleep routine that will allow you to wake up feeling physically recovered, refreshed and ready for every new day.


The first step in your nightly performance routine should involve getting into some form of relaxed state. Anything from a chilled conversation or reading a book, to meditation or breathing exercises will help you to wind down and lower stress levels. As a rough guide, try to take an hour or so before bed when you shut off the laptop, phone or TV and concentrate on the aforementioned activities instead.


The amount of fluid in and around a muscle cell itself is a signal for muscle growth and it’s extremely easy to check this box off before you hit the hay.

During the night you will get dehydrated and it will be worse if you sleep in a hot environment so time your fluid intake to end about an hour before you go to bed to avoid waking up frequently.


Make sure your room is dark enough.

In a perfect world we have a tightly controlled interplay of the stress/adrenaline hormone cortisol and the relaxing hormone melatonin. As the sun rises, your body produces more cortisol so that you gradually wake up.

To do this, your body also lowers the level of melatonin that it produces. Conversely, when the sun sets, and before smart phones, your body lowers cortisol and increases melatonin so you can get a good night’s sleep.

In our current world, where we’re always connected and have increased levels of anxiety due to our devices, we produce less melatonin and more cortisol, which makes it harder to get to sleep at night and maximise muscle growth.


Following on from the last point, electromagnetic fields or smog is rapidly becoming a hot talking point in terms of hormonal health problems.

A recent study has linked frequent exposure to EMF waves as increasing the severity of auto immune disease. Shut off your WiFi at night and place your phone on airplane mode at least five to ten feet away from your head.

Your sleeping habits and sleep hygiene has enormous effects on your health, fitness, muscle growth, emotional wellbeing and stress levels. Build a routine that favours your body and mind, use the best supplements you can, and set yourself up for success in the future.

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