How Important is Sleep for Fat Loss and Muscle Growth?

The result of your training depends on several factors. The 3 main factors are:


Missing one of these factors can slow down or even stop you from progressing and turn things into the wrong way!

Quality of a Quantity!

Lots of people are making a mistake of training several times a day for hours and hours. Then, they also suddenly drop calories to speed up their ‘progress.’  They also skip rest day(s) and do not focus on recovery, injury prevention or what their body actually needs. This sooner or later leaves them with the symptoms of over training (continuously elevated cortisol level, reduction in muscle size, fatigue, poor digestion) or other health problems.

Slow Down!

All the uncompleted tasks, problems leave us with stressful and worrying thoughts, which do not let us to sleep. When we finally fall asleep, we keep waking up during the night or waking up like we have not slept at all. Is this familiar to you?

Sleep and your Thoughts

Your mind – your thoughts before you fall asleep has a high impact on the quality of your sleep and also the state you will be waking up in! More you think about what you want, and not what you don’t, more productive you will get to work towards your goals! You will also wake up with more energy and being grateful to have another day and another opportunity to be happy!

Here are some action exercises for you to do, if you want to reduce stress and improve the quality of your life in general:

Meditate – Don’t be skeptical, as I was at the beginning. Try it!  It only takes 21 days to develop a new habit and this one will help you with a more positive mindset and stress relief. It works, believe me, I’ve done it myself! INSIGHT TIMER is the best meditation app you can do!

Try Yoga or Stretching before bedtime – It does magic! Insight Timer also has live yoga classes, but you can also find few stretching routines on my YOUTUBE channel. 

Switch off from social media and TV at least 2 hours before bedtime – How others live their lives comparing it to you…. forget about it, switch off and breath. 

Sleep and exercise

When exercising, you create little tears in those muscle fibers (you break down muscle fibers during workout and you make them grow when you are recovering), that is the rebuilding process of making them grow bigger and stronger! This is where the importance of recovery and sleep comes in!

What do I mean by recovery?

1. Stretching and injury prevention

2. Eating a healthy balanced diet

3. Switching off and investing time not only your physical but mental health too

Here are some action exercises for you regarding to your health and fitness:

Sleep at least 7-8 hours, if you are an athlete or training several times a week or you have a physical job even 9 hours a day is required. 

Do not eat 2-3 hour before bed time (especially not heavy, hardly digestible food)

If you wake up several times during the night for a wee, avoid too much liquid/water during late evenings. Drink lots of water during the morning and daytime to stay hydrated!

If you could not sleep enough, it happens to all of us, do not worry 1-2x it will not hurt your progress.

Follow a healthy balanced diet, it will keep you away from a weak immune system, diseases etc…

If you could not sleep, you are stressed and  feel tired, do NOT train and stress your body even more on that day.


What deprivation of sleep causes:

1. Impaired Glucose Tolerance:

 The central nervous system will be more active without sleep which will encourages the pancreas produce more insulin. This is when glucose is raised beyond normal level.

With impaired glucose tolerance you face a much greater risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease

2. Increased risk of obesity:

While asleep, our body release growth- hormone mainly between the first few hours of sleep (first phase – slow-wave sleep) .

Low Human Growth Hormone level may increase risk of disease and make you gain fat. This can also relate to the drop of testosterone that also plays high role in maintaining muscle mass and losing body fat!

People that sleep too little (under 6 hours) have lower level of growth hormone that is very important during weight loss, injury prevention and athletic performance.  You can increase Growth hormone through diet, sleep and exercise.

 3. Craving for Carbohydrates (simple carbs)

Lack of sleep has a bad effect on a hormone called leptin too. This is responsible to control appetite as it sends information to your ‘system’ that you are full! When you are tired you crave more for food especially to sugary, fatty (simple carbs) food. Having enough sleeps helps you control some very important hormones that can control your diet and appetite!

 4. Weakened Immune system:

Research shows that sleep also has effect on white blood cells, therefore how it can fight inflammation and weaken your immune system.

5. Depression and Irritability:

Not having enough sleep will increase your cortisol hormone and also will mess with other important hormones too as I mentioned above. It stresses your body that can lead to physical and mental illnesses in long term bases. It can also lead to anxiety and depression, eating disorders and irritability too. I am sure I am not by myself when saying I am more irritable when not sleeping enough!

 6. Loss of concentration and Focus:

Your risk of injuring yourself and fatigue your body will be higher due to poor technique. When we are tired it is harder to focus on correct form, right weight and we can often get frustrated.

Thank you for reading, I am very grateful for your attention. I hope this little blog will help you in some ways. Feel free to ask, comment and give me any feedbacks.



Alex xx

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