T Nation

How Important Is Sleep?

My situation is this: I just graduated college this past June, and I am working for a law firm as a paralegal. I get a decent enough base salary, but I also earn time and a half for overtime, so I like to take every opportunity I get to work that overtime and earn the extra cash (I have many, many student loans to pay off). I understand the importance of getting to work on these loans earlier so I can free myself from that debt, so I am committed to that.

Now, to bring it back to training, I have been training in the early morning before work to make sure I have the time to get my lift in, and also be available for the overtime. My question, as it relates to sleep, is if it is more important on a night to get my sleep and miss a lift in the morning, or if it wouldn’t matter to go on 6 hours of sleep or so and go to the gym.

I guess I’m probably going to get lots of answers from guys who only get 6 hours of sleep a night if they are lucky, and find ways to train, which would be good news, but do y’all think that my strength and growth will suffer (significantly) so that I should make it more of a priority to get 7.5+ hours of sleep than to train as often as possible?

I hope this all make sense…

I get less sleep. Im doing fine. Sleep is important, yes, but to me, the whole “you must have eight hours or you’ll die” is crap. Just get as much as you can.

I honestly think that by not caring so much, you’ll stress out less, and get better quality of sleep. When i had sleeping problems, I aways would look at the clock and flip out, which would keep me up some more. My philosophy is “you’ll have plenty of time to sleep when your dead”

Seriously, dont worry about it. Just sleep extra when you can (like weekends for example). No problems yet.

I find sleep quality sucks when I start to worry…so dont worry :wink:

if you are doing well on the sleep you get, not sure if there is any reason to change it. if you start to feel run down, re-evaluate things.

7-9 would be optimal, but if you have to do with 6 hrs every so often in order to workout, I’d workout. This is coming from someone who usually gets 8-9 hrs every day. I realize the importance of sleep, but I also realize the importance of paying off those student loans ASAP

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
7-9 would be optimal, but if you have to do with 6 hrs every so often in order to workout, I’d workout. This is coming from someone who usually gets 8-9 hrs every day. I realize the importance of sleep, but I also realize the importance of paying off those student loans ASAP[/quote]

Right, I mean I love sleep as much as the next guy, so I’d love to get 9 hours a night, but the loans are a big thing to take care of. Especially with potentially more (for law school) on the horizon.

I think the answers so far have confirmed my opinion. Don’t worry about it and go lift heavy things. If I start to feel beat up or run down, take a day off, get some extra sleep. Thanks all.

Ive always found if I get 8-9 thats the best for me, but then again thats for “optimal” training and is just for me. Some people do fine on seven, all depends on how you feel on different hours of sleep.

As far as skipping training for sleep, I really don’t know. I’ve never been in that spot.

Also there are things more important than training, paying off student loans might be one of those things.

I’ve never had such great sleep until I smoked a joint before bed. If you want to make the most out of every minute of sleep you get, I suggest you purchase a pipe, bong or vaporizer, and a quarter bag of some chronic, and smoke that before bed which should make you fall asleep right away, and make you feel good upon waking.(Personal experience).

I prefer forbes’ advice.

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
7-9 would be optimal, but if you have to do with 6 hrs every so often in order to workout, I’d workout. This is coming from someone who usually gets 8-9 hrs every day. I realize the importance of sleep, but I also realize the importance of paying off those student loans ASAP[/quote]

Certain people on here feel quite differently about sleep, and there’s a neat relation between amount of sleep needed and diet+exercise.

Both pX and I have commented on this before… Bauer too, I believe… C’mon guys, use the search engine… I don’t feel like typing this stuff out over and over again…

Progress is like a 3-legged table. Training, eating, and sleep are the legs. Remove one, what happens? Shorten one… what happens?

Got it?