T Nation

Sleep and Muscle Regeneration

Saw this on MSN this morning, on the subject of boosting your metabolism:

“10. Sleep. Research shows that people who don’t sleep for seven to eight hours a night are more prone to weight gain. Additionally, we now know that lean muscle is regenerated in the final couple of hours of sleep each night, says [Michigan dietician Julie] Beyer.”

Does anyone here know anything about that claim? I’ve never heard that before, but it sounds interesting.

Thanks,
–milo

What research shows in many areas is meaning less to me all the time.

As far as the sleep thing goes that’s a great question. Everything I’ve ever seen says that repair, growth, healing etc. happens in large part while we sleep which is why for instance, infants sleep all the time, yet it’s supposed to be the most catabolic stretch on the clock.

I’ve never grasped how that works. Maybe I just haven’t been properly informed, but it does seem like both of these cannot be true.

Man, that is a great question. I’d love to see someone pose that to Dr. Lowery or Berardi or someone MUCh smarter than us regular SOBs.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
What research shows in many areas is meaning less to me all the time.

As far as the sleep thing goes that’s a great question. Everything I’ve ever seen says that repair, growth, healing etc. happens in large part while we sleep which is why for instance, infants sleep all the time, yet it’s supposed to be the most catabolic stretch on the clock.

I’ve never grasped how that works. Maybe I just haven’t been properly informed, but it does seem like both of these cannot be true.[/quote]

I did some google-ing, and found one interesting thing about sleep: REM sleep periods increase in duration the longer you sleep.

Every ninety minutes of night-time sleep, your body goes through a series of different stages of sleep from Stage 1 (light sleep) to Stage 4 (very deep sleep). Stage 5 sleep is REM sleep, and that’s when you experience dreams. During the first hour of sleep, you spend more time in the lighter stages of Non-REM sleep, and only about ten minutes in REM sleep. As the night wears on, your REM periods get longer and longer so that during each of the last two hours you may spend thirty or more minutes dreaming.

The main biological purpose of REM sleep appears to be related to memory. While you are dreaming, your brain is busily organizing your “memory files” for long term storage. Perhaps muscle regeneration is also mostly accomplished during REM sleep?

–milo

EDIT: Bit of an update - it turns out that Growth Hormone levels are highest during Stage III and Stage IV NREM sleep - the deep sleep that precedes REM sleep. Stage IV sleep periods are actually longer earlier in the night, a couple of hours after you fall asleep.

Not sure what that means, if anything.