T Nation

Sleep... Does Time Matter?

We all know that sleep is crucial in recovery to get jacked, strong and a shit load of other awesomeness. I’d say roughly 8 hours every night is pretty ideal, but how about the time you sleep. Does it matter if it’s 12-8am as opposed to 5am-1pm? Or is it all good?

Sleep quality > sleep quantity

The good amount of sleep is when you wake up refreshed without any difficulty or pain and a night without interruption.

Some people sleep 4 or 5 hours a night and get jacked and are fine.

I have a hard time believing someone who is bodybuilding regurarly with gains, can get off with only 5h of sleep on a regurarl basis, without naps during the day.

[quote]pasteee wrote:
We all know that sleep is crucial in recovery to get jacked, strong and a shit load of other awesomeness. I’d say roughly 8 hours every night is pretty ideal, but how about the time you sleep. Does it matter if it’s 12-8am as opposed to 5am-1pm? Or is it all good?[/quote]

Don’t have any studies to link you at the moment, but I distinctly remember reading about this. I have heard that getting sleep between the hours of say 11pm and 7am is far more beneficial than sleeping from say 4am to noon.

all i know is that i feel much more energized if i get 8 hours from 11-7 or 12-8 then if i get even 9 hours from 3-1 or something like that.

[quote]csulli wrote:

[quote]pasteee wrote:
We all know that sleep is crucial in recovery to get jacked, strong and a shit load of other awesomeness. I’d say roughly 8 hours every night is pretty ideal, but how about the time you sleep. Does it matter if it’s 12-8am as opposed to 5am-1pm? Or is it all good?[/quote]
Don’t have any studies to link you at the moment, but I distinctly remember reading about this. I have heard that getting sleep between the hours of say 11pm and 7am is far more beneficial than sleeping from say 4am to noon.[/quote]
Reminds me of the old saying, ‘the hours you sleep before midnight are more important than the hours after midnight.’

Not a study, but a Q&A with the “sleep director the Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School.”

"There is nothing particularly special about the clock time of midnight for sleep. Upon falling asleep, there is a general propensity to go through a 90-minute cycle of non-REM sleep followed by REM sleep. However, as mentioned above, the ratio of non-REM-to-REM sleep within these 90-minute cycles changes across the night, such that early in the night (e.g., 11p.m.-3a.m.), the majority of those cycles are comprised of deep non-REM sleep (stages 3 and 4) and very little REM sleep. As we push through to the second half of the night (e.g. 3a.m.-7a.m.), this balance changes, such that the 90-minute cycles are comprised of more REM sleep (the stage commonly associated with dreaming), together with a lighter form of non-REM sleep (stage 2).

But there is a subtle twist to this story that rises above these 90-minute laws: the earlier in the night, the greater the propensity for deep non-REM sleep, and the later in the morning, the greater the propensity for REM. Therefore, someone who sleeps from 9p.m. to 5a.m. (8 hours total) will have a different overall composition of sleep - biased towards more non-REM - than someone who sleeps from 3a.m. to 11a.m. (also 8 hours total), who is likely to experience more REM. Indeed, if you afford yourself the luxury of sleeping in later during the weekends, you’ll experience this phenomenon, with a greater likelihood of having more dreams due to the increased proportion of REM sleep."

We get tired at night because of chemical releases based upon our evolutionary nature (err? think that’s right), and when you stay up late, you’re doing no good for your body.

Gym bro’s didn’t make up catabolic/anabolic randomly in the 70’s when muscle building became mainstream. Get good sleep!

The earlier the better, I think there’s a lot of truth to ‘an hour before 12 is worth two thereafter’

I also remember reading something that said the sleep hours between 7 AM to 9 AM are supposed to be very recuperative… I think it was something Meadows wrote. Not sure how much truth there is to that but regardless, I try to get in bed every night at 12 AM, unless there’s some party or something on the weekends. I’ve found 9 hours sleep a night for me is ideal, so I should probably shoot for 11 PM - 8 AM or something like that.

I usually dream better during a daytime nap. Usually, that is.

Waking up at 4 for work and not getting home till 1700 sucks ass. By the time I get to the gym and get back home to shower,eat, and prep the food for tomorrow I’d pretty much have to go to sleep right away if I wanted 8 hours.

[quote]Rush88 wrote:
Waking up at 4 for work and not getting home till 1700 sucks ass. By the time I get to the gym and get back home to shower,eat, and prep the food for tomorrow I’d pretty much have to go to sleep right away if I wanted 8 hours. [/quote]

Story of my life…did for for almost 3 years…its hard to find the balance of going out and proper muscle growth protocol

Dan john really thinks that PM sleep is more important than AM sleep.

I also tend to think that I want to follow the light for my sleep, biorythms and what-not. Wake up early enough with the sun rising at or after you wake and begin settling down for the night when the sun sets, just my $.02

FWIW, Arnold Schwarzeneggar is one of those guys who commonly only would get 5 hrs of sleep even in his training peak period (according to his most recent autobiography).

From reading other autobiographies, it seems that there are a small percentage of people who can not only get away with that, but downright prefer such a sleep cycle. I’m guessing that such an ability is at least partially genetically determined and I wouldn’t suggest doing it yourself just because X famous person could also do it.

FML!!

Sleeps from 1a-8am with multiple tosses an turns and at least one piss break. Always wake up groggy as shit.
i’m now trying Biotest’s z12. Doesn’t help me fall asleep faster, but I do feel a litter more rested in the morn.

Anyone have sleep aid recs? Been trying not to use the unisom stuff too much.

[quote]giograves wrote:
FML!!

Sleeps from 1a-8am with multiple tosses an turns and at least one piss break. Always wake up groggy as shit.
i’m now trying Biotest’s z12. Doesn’t help me fall asleep faster, but I do feel a litter more rested in the morn.

Anyone have sleep aid recs? Been trying not to use the unisom stuff too much.[/quote]

Biotest z12 is basically Phenibut (google it) with some added ingredients to improve sleep quality. It works fine, but it’s not always that great for everyone out there…for example, with me, it actually makes me a bit giddy. If complete mental tension is the cause of my insomnia, it helps, but if it’s something else, I can actually end up staying awake longer with phenibut/z12.

My personal reccomendation is getting some kind of highly dissolvable magnesium supplement, like Magna Calm (or similar).

No, it doesn’t work for everyone, but it has made the difference in a lot of people’s sleep quality.

What you do NOT want is something that ‘knocks you out.’ That will eventually betray you leaving you more messed up than ever.

Also, consider learning some breathing and relaxation exercises, maybe even pick up a meditation or self-hypnosis audio. You can find plenty of free ones on ITunes. Many of them suck, keep trying. In the long run, it’ll do you a hell of a lot more good in improving the quality of your life than any supplement.

ive struggled with insomnia most of my life. Its not that I am not tired, I just cant get to sleep. The longest I have ever gone without sleep is 5 days. Generally, once I am a sleep I can stay asleep for 5 - 7 hours though.

In the last 8 years though my sleep has suffered horribly due to the fact that we have three kids. All of my kids needed to feed about every 2 hours 24/7 till they were around 18 months old (current kid is 10 mo. old). Also, my daughter (my oldest) is one of these “genetically gifted” individuals that only needs about 5 hours of sleep which is tough on us as well. Most parents I know live in this dream like world where their kids actually need more sleep than they do!

For me, magnesium and occasionally taking GABA ( I take 7 gms ), seems to help the most. GABA is hit and miss, sometimes its exaclty what I need to get over the initial hurtle of falling asleep, other times it winds me right up. Not really sure why, but I take it if the Magnesium is not working. With these two, I am not so groggy that I cant help my wife feed the baby in two hours when he wakes up. Plus I generally feel more rested when my alarm goes off in the morning.

Until the last 3 generations, for millions of years man got up when the sun came up and went to bed when the sun went down more or less. The genes you were given were selected for that type of environment.
But we are soooooo smart we can control the light now. But your genes don’t know that. And its not how your designed. Fact, women nurses who work 2nd shift have a 50% higher cancer rate than woman who work 1st shift. Coincidence? Me thinks not. I run sprints at a local high school at 6 AM. In the summer at 6 it is already light and the place is filled with birds doin their thing. Today, in december, its pitch black and there ain’t a bird in sight. Funny thing is i don’t believe birds have much of a cancer problem, unless of course, they eat food that we sooooo smart humans give them. I’m thinkin about sprintin tomorrow at 7.