The Importance of Sleep for Building Muscle

Jan 17, 2023
Roger Sutherland

In this blog by guest author Roger Sutherland – Shift Work Health & Well Being Coach, learn why sleep matters for building muscle and how to optimize it.

When it comes to building muscle, most of us tend to focus on diet and resistance training.

However, the most overlooked aspect of muscle growth is the role sleep plays. In fact, poor sleep can have a significant impact on muscle building and recovery.

In this blog, I will explore the science behind sleep and muscle growth and discuss some strategies for improving sleep to enhance your muscle building goal.


Sleep is essential for overall health and well-being, and it plays a crucial role in muscle recovery and growth. While we sleep, our body releases a growth hormone, which helps repair and rebuild muscle tissue. Additionally, sleep helps to reduce inflammation and promotes blood flow to muscles, which speeds up recovery and improves muscle function.

However, when we don’t get enough quality sleep, it can have a negative impact on muscle building. Poor sleep leads to an increase in cortisol, a stress hormone that can break down muscle tissue. Furthermore, lack of sleep can also negatively affect our energy levels, motivation, and consistency in training.


Research recommends that adults aim for 7-9 hours sleep per night.  It is important to note that individual needs can vary depending on your age, lifestyle and your overall health.  In general, it’s important to listen to your body and pay attention to how you are feeling after a night of sleep. If you are feeling tired or groggy during the day then that’s a good sign that you need more quality sleep.


To get the most out of your sleep for muscle building, it’s important to establish a regular sleep schedule. This is vital and means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, yes, even on the weekends. This regulates your body’s internal clock and will make it much easier to fall asleep and wake up.

Another important aspect of a sleep routine is creating a bedtime routine. This is known as sleep hygiene. This includes activities such as a hot shower before bed. As your body cools from this you go to sleep. Activities such as reading, meditating, soothing music or white noise all help to relax your mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep. It is also vital that you avoid screens for at least 1 hour before bed. The content you are absorbing from these screens stimulates your mind and time just gets away from you when you could be getting quality sleep and growing that muscle.


Creating a comfortable sleep environment is also important for muscle building. This means keeping your bedroom dark, cool and quiet. Don’t underestimate the value of investing in a quality mattress and pillows. This provides comfort and your body is properly supported so that you can get the most out of your sleep. 


In conclusion, sleep plays a crucial role in muscle building and recovery. Getting enough quality sleep can help promote muscle growth, speed up your recovery and improve your energy levels and motivation for training. By establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a bedtime routine, and creating a comfortable sleep environment, you can improve your sleep and enhance your muscle building efforts. Remember to pay attention to your body’s needs, and always aim for 7-9 hours sleep per night.


Roger Sutherland

Shift Work Health & Wellbeing Coach

A Healthy Shift