T Nation

sleep & calories

i was wondering if you slept more than the alotted 8hrs a day, would you need significantly less calories for bulking/maintenance ??

for example: if you slept 9hrs and then napped mid-day for another 2hrs- how many calories could you reduce, if any?


Hmmm, getting theoretical on us, huh, Jay? (grin)

My thoughts are that when you’re lifting heavy and challenging your CNS, getting all the sleep you can is a very good thing. Don’t worry about caloric intake unless you start to gain weight (and are trying to lose weight) or vice versa. Adjust caloric intake up or down based on your goals and get all the sleep you need. Another hour or two of sleep isn’t going to make that much of a difference.

thank you tampa-terry for your response.

i know it shouldn’t matter an extra hour or two.

but say someone was in a bulking phase and slept the prescribed 8-9hrs each night, the woke up at 8am, had a big breakfast, then went back to sleep for another few hours.

if maintenance calories were 3000. and bulking was 4000, could you drop bulking calories down a bit?


That depends as TT stated. If you are gaining to much fat then yes drop your cals, if no then sleep up. You need the extra k/cals and sleep to grow.

Just be happy that you have the time and ability to sleep that much. Some of us are not so lucky.


I think what you’re probably talking about, jay, is Resting Metabolic Rate. Your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is the minimum number of calories your body needs to support its basic physiological functions, including breathing, circulating blood and all of the numerous biochemical reactions required to keep you alive. Your RMR is generally 60-75% of your total daily caloric expenditure.

Things that affect your Metabolic Rate:

Muscle - More muscle increases your RMR.

Age - Your RMR decreases with age.

A lower than normal RMR can be due to genetics.

The weather - Living in a cold enviroment can increase your RMR. I know this sounds strange but you expend more energy while moving around in cold weather. It’s a a lot easier to move around in summer but more of an effort to “get going” in winter.

Small Regular meals will increase your RMR.

Pregnancy can increase a woman’s RMR.

Crash dieting will decrease your RMR.

jay, there’s not much difference as far as caloric expenditure goes between lying in bed and puttering around the house. It’s not going to make that much of a difference either way.

Make changes to your diet based on BF%, scale weight and appearance, rather than the number of hours you’re sleeping per night.


"jay, there’s not much difference as far as caloric expenditure goes between lying in bed and puttering around the house. It’s not going to make that much of a difference either way. "

really!.. i thought that if I continue 4000cals for bulking phase, and I had some extra sleep hours, that I could get more out of the 4000cals.



As a guy who has been out of work, dealing with breakups, etc. I can tell you the answer is “NO”!

I can and usually do sleep 12+ hours a day, and I can tell you after months of doing this that anything beyond 8 hours is only wasting time you could have spent eating.

TT is right, sleep is important but only to a point. It’s one of those things that really only affect you when you’re getting little of it.

Think about it, your body has to have nutrients, protein, etc. to build and repair muscle, how is sleeping anymore going to help? While sleeping that often(and eating slightly less) my recovery times and gains both suffered noticeably.


hang on a minute…

i am NOT eating any less than if i wasn’t sleeping. i still propose 4000cal intake.

i merely suggested that sleeping wouldn’t need as many calories as doing odd work around my house. (i start work at 3pm-10.30pm and get to sleep at midnite).



I guess when you asked in your original post about how many calories you could reduce I misunderstood you then huh?

Well, above are my thoughts now it’s back to the kitchen for some hardboiled eggs.