Issue #55: The Definition Issue

energy (1) athletic focus

Numerous factors are at play when it comes to muscle building, including exercise, diet, and supplements. There are plenty of benefits to getting more sleep, not the least of these being improved metabolism and more energy. Neither of those benefits are likely to come as a surprise, but studies have shown that more sleep can also help in fat burning and muscle retention. Apparently, the term beauty sleep may not be entirely facetious after all.

Sporty woman holding gymnast rings looking down. Young female athlete at gym with rings.

How does it help?

For starters, a boosted metabolism and sustained energy will contribute to more efficient days and decision-making, as well enhanced performance during your workout. These are indirect influences, but they shouldn’t be underestimated.

In terms of direct impact, muscle growth can take place throughout the day. When your body is resting, however, muscle tissue is repaired and rebuilt—much more so than when you’re out and about. Furthermore, for most people, the majority of their daily human growth hormone (HGH; an important part of muscle building) release occurs during sleep. Skimping on sleep can abate that process.

Handsome young man sleeping on white pillow

Brain Function

Your brain doesn’t work exactly like a battery, but it does need to recharge on a daily basis. That happens while you sleep. If you deprive your brain of sleep, it impairs things like memory, discernment, temperament, and overall focus. It should go without saying; you’ll be a much happier camper if you give your brain what it needs—namely, sleep!

Having your brain run at peak efficiency has numerous benefits, for example: increased motivation. Improved motivation can help give you a better workout or more willing to say no to unhealthy cravings and yes to healthy foods that may not be your favorite.


Fitness woman workout strength training with weight

Keep it consistent.

Oversleeping can be just as devastating to your daily energy levels as under-sleeping. Balance is a good thing for your body, particularly when it comes to training your brain and body to be disciplined.

Work out.

Exercise will make your body and mind more willing to rest when bedtime rolls around because they are tired from a full day of work. This includes mental exercise. Reading a book, studying for an exam, and answering trivia questions can all be good preparation for sleep.

Beautiful young woman on the sports ground. Girl eating a banana

Eat before bed, but eat smart.

Foods that are high in sugar, fat, or carbohydrates should be resisted in the late evening since you’ll be physically inactive for several hours. Instead, going for fat-free casein protein options like cottage cheese or greek yogurt will provide a slow release. That way the muscle building can continue while you dream about that chocolate cake you turned down earlier in the day.

To maximize the physical benefits of adequate sleep, it is important to pay attention to your overall health.  Find out how WellPath nutritional solutions can help you make sure your body is getting enough of the nutrients it needs to reach your goals.


About Zac Howard

Zac Howard is a writer on The Path Editorial Team. He is a graduate of Florida State University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in magazine journalism at NYU. With his passion for lifting and dieting, Zac enjoys writing about all different kinds of exercise as well as keeping up with the latest news in the world of fitness. For more of his work, visit his website.