T Nation

Sleep or Eat

Hey everyone,
I have been following this site for about two months now and have gotten a lot of valuble information. I am a college student home for the summer and having finished up working, I have the luxury of sleeping in as late as I want. My question is this: am I better off sleeping for 10 or 11 hours or should I shoot for around eight hours and then start getting those calories rolling in? I have gained a solid 13 pounds already this summer (up from 165) at 6" but would like to add as much mass as possible before heading back to school.

Thanks!

For me, 8 hours is plenty.

Spend it working out. Then the eating will make sense…

First, I caution you about oversleeping. Once you get used to it, you want that much sleep. When you go back to school and can only afford 6-8 hours a night, you’ll be hurting for a while. In my opinion, it is best not to sleep in every day, maybe twice a week at best.

I speak from self experience, during a period of unemployment, I had nothing much else to do but sleep. It becomes habit, and soon, sleep is all I wanted to do. Just as training and living a healthy lifestyle builds positve momentum, laziness builds negative momentum and it slowed me down in other aspects in my life.

But enough of my soapbox, you asked about feeding. If you are going to spend long periods in slumber, take a slow digesting protein drink (@30 grams casein) before you go to bed, and if you can, wake up in the middle of the night and drink another. Also, eat upon rising. This should keep the nutrients in steady supply.

You’re young. Sleep in while you can because once the reality of real life comes on, there will be no more sleeping in. But 8 hours is usually enough. Just eat big and lift heavy when you’re awake.

If following an intense training program, then 10 hours of sleep each night is ideal for recovery. CW recently mentioned this in one of his responses to a question about recovery methods.

So get 10 hours of sleep, eat big and train big!

BOTH that right get as much sleep as you require and more nutrition than you require.

The best thing you can do is to learn how much sleep you need. How No alarm. Wake up when you wake up. This will tell you how much sleep you need then you can adjust your schedule to this in the future to get the right amount of sleep and not need an alarm. Sometimes that may mean skipping the late night MTV or other crap but hey what do you want more. Then from time to time sure cut loose go out with friend, stay up late what not. You will be programed into this and will still wake up at very close to the same time.

Learning your sleeping patterns as well as all other individual aspects of your life will go a long ways to you having a happy and healthy life. Oh and aid in getting HYUGGEEEEE!

Sleep however long your body wants to let you sleep without setting an alarm. 10 hours may be optimal. But don’t spend a half hour tossing around in bed trying to get back to sleep if you happen to sleep 8 hours. If you’re a little tired, a nap’s always a good idea. In your waking hours, eat lots and make sure you’re training hard.

You’re 165 lbs at 6"? What measurement is that? Never mind. Keep it to yourself.

If you meant 165 lbs at 6’, and you’re still trying to gain weight (because 165 lbs at 6’ is skinny) then you can sleep-in all you care to. Just get up every four hours to eat a quick cottage cheese snack. Then back to to your wet dreams.

[quote]bikemike wrote:
You’re 165 lbs at 6"? What measurement is that? Never mind. Keep it to yourself.

If you meant 165 lbs at 6’, and you’re still trying to gain weight (because 165 lbs at 6’ is skinny) then you can sleep-in all you care to. Just get up every four hours to eat a quick cottage cheese snack. Then back to to your wet dreams.[/quote]

Haha, yes I did mean 6’ 0". And I am up to about 180 now. I think I am going to try and start either eating some cottage cheese or taking a protein shake when I wake up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Thanks for the replies.

Spitzer,
I agree that 9-10 hours may be best. In fact, I’m workiing on a surprisnig article on sleep debt and how most of us suffer from it. It messes with your carb tolerance and… uh, I’ll shut up before I spoil it…

Although it’s over-simplified, it’s largely true: Train heavy, eat heavy, sleep heavy = growth.