By Jared Boynton | 2/24/2017
In the modern world, sleep is associated with laziness. “I grind while they sleep”, “I’ve got a dream that’s worth more than my sleep”, and a billion other similar quotes are spoken like they’re something to be proud of – but if you’re an athlete, you need to get adequate sleep. You may be able to make it through the day just fine on 6 hours of sleep, but doing so is immensely counterintuitive to meeting your body composition goals.
A study done in 2009 at the University of Chicago pitted two groups against each other: one clocking 8.5 hours of sleep per night, the other logging 5.5 hours. Despite the fact that 5.5 hours per night is the statistical norm in modern western society, the study determined that caloric restriction resulted in a 60% higher rate of muscle loss than 8.5 hours. In regards to fat loss – more than half of the weight lost during the 8.5-hour sleep period was fat loss, while only a quarter of the weight loss during the 5.5-hour period was fat.
Both of the above-mentioned groups ate roughly the same amount of calories each day.
It’s common sense to assume that staying awake and remaining active for a longer amount of time per day would result in a higher caloric expenditure, right? Not quite. The study also measured that the group that slept 3 extra hours burned, on average, 400 more calories per day than the group with restricted sleep. Metabolic downregulation was the culprit; in order to compensate for the increased metabolic needs of longer waking hours, the body adjusts a number of processes in order to reduce calorie expenditure.
Moral of the story? Don’t short-change your sleep unless it’s absolutely necessary – and if you’re writing off sleep in order to do cardio, make sure you’re doing it with enough intensity to overcome the metabolic downregulation.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, supplementation can help: look into ZMAs for an all-natural sleep aid, or RedCon1 Fade Out if you really need something to knock you straight into a deep REM sleep.
Jared Boynton is a proud Advantage Supplements athlete with a wide range of knowledge on nutrition, supplementation, kinesiology, and biomechanics. His experience has been proven through years of real-world implementation with both his own physique and the physiques of numerous clients. You can contact Jared via email at Coach@JaredBoynton.com, as well as follow follow him on social media and his personal website as listed below:
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