T Nation

Rest for Muscle Growth


It has always been advised to have 7-8 hours of good sleep to let your muscles recover. However, not all of us can achieve this due to lack of time/poor environment etc. So anyone has any remedies or solutions? For example, will afternoon naps help?

  • Have already invested in ear plugs which helps but still not ablt to drown out environmental sounds(inconsiderate bunk mates talking till late at night) totally.


You have time to nap, but not to sleep at night? Instead of napping at 4pm, get shit done, don't watch TV and go to bed.

I've found some success by sleeping (or trying to sleep) on the subway/bus or during breaks. And there's probably a ton of time wasting activities you could get rid of. Nate Green has a few points towards the end of his article here: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/built_for_show

And the number one tip for recovering better is: Eat more.


You'll probably find getting a couple hours less sleep isn't going to effect the end result as much as you believe. Go ahead an take naps when you find the time or just get into the habit of going to bed earlier if time permits.

Above all, nutrition will dictate more so how well you recover.

Speaking directly as an insomniac, having at times averaged 4 to 5 hours sleep a night for months on end, I've never noticed any difference in the long run to recovery. I know I felt tired a lot during the day, felt like I got hit by a train upon waking up some mornings, but it never really limited my progress unless my nutrition took a dive.


It could be just me, but feeling like I got hit by a truck before I lift some weights would probably hurt my progress.


When my schedule is hectic taking an extra day off here and there seems to keep me feeling strong


If it's a persistent feeling, then the underlying issue is that you are exceeding your capacity to recover - in other words you are over training. The rememdy for that is simply eating more. A lot more. Sleep shouldn't be that great of an issue, although clearly it plays a role. The role just isn't huge and shouldn't hinder your progress significantly.

Keep in mind I'm assuming the OP gets at least 4 hours sleep per night here. If it is less, then OP might want to get some new room mates.


thanks for the replies.

kakno, thanks for your opinion, but it isnt really all what you think it is. let me explain my situation abit more. Im in the army, "Lights out" is 10.30pm every night. and i GET to bed 10.30 every night in an attempt to sleep. HOWEVER, some of my BUNKMATES(whom i dont get to choose or change), dont have the same views as me on rest,recovery and whatnot. So they like to stay up till 12 and occasionally 1am like last night talking.

Two of them especially are very, VERY inconsiderate and like to talk very loudly. (i do ask them to talk more softly but they arent that considerate, one of them even likes to wake up this other bunk mate of mine when the latter is already sleeping for no apparent reason.) So yes, id LIKE to sleep at 10.30 and get my 7-8 hrs of sleep. But most of the time its hard for me to sleep with all the noise going on. Im a light sleeper. (: hope this clears it up. btw, aint no TV in my bunk. :wink:

Teledin: ok, that comforts me quite a bit, especially since you look solid in your dp. And yes i get at least 4 hrs of sleep. Usually 6 at least.

Trav: hmmm. an extra day off sounds good. but i usually have at least ONE form of physical activity everyday. There are runs almost everyday in camp. (i.e 2km on mon & tue & thurs. 5km on weds. circuit trainings on fri.) And i try to hit the gym 4-5 times a week. so thats abit hard. :confused:

*i dont think im overtraining, i still feel good most of the times when i hit the gym, still hitting new PRs and have had some pretty good workouts recently, and even on "bad" days, i still get the job done.

Nutrition on the other hand is quite hard to control. Meals are provided and while i can go to the canteen to buy "extra" meals, theyre usually not good quality protein carbs etc. The best i could do was bring in oatmeals and eggs (so i can mix them up, and tastes pretty good (: ) as well as my own protein powder.

hope all the info is enough!


Ok, that piece of advice just fit most people :slight_smile: How well do the earplugs work for you? A good pair should make you damn near deaf.


not very well. ): the only pairs i could find was at a local pharmacy, the a buck a pair kind. couldnt find any online locally or any recommendations on forums either


could you get a fan? White noise will help drown out the sound. You'll eventually get used to sleeping through the noise


Find the shooting range, score ear plugs, sleep better. Other ideas for ear plugs are to look up an online store that sells safety supplies (U-line, Grainger, etc). They can sell you a box of 100-200 pairs for less than 30 bucks. Most of your standard ear plugs will reduce the volume by 20-30db, should be enough but then again I'd have a hard time waking up.