Sleep and Loss of Muscle Mass in Weight Loss

Having the ability to build muscle mass is an asset in this world of worship and beauty that is that of our society. Whether you want to have the appearance of Brad Pitt or Megan Fox, good muscle mass is essential for an impeccable appearance. Many people, not to target women, do not understand, or just do not want to understand, that more importantly in proportion is your lean mass (“muscle”), the lower your percentage of fat.

Low% fat = beautiful body composition = “Nice shape”

So muscle hypertrophy (increase) = decrease in fat% = “Nice shape”

And yes, even for women! And you will not look like HULK, do not worry.

It goes without saying that to maintain our muscle mass is excessively important. This is what raised a very interesting question in me:

Does sleep have an impact on muscle mass?

In recent years, we have seen a decrease in sleep time and an increase in obesity in North America. A link has indeed been drawn between these two variables. However, we can say that lack of sleep creates, as it were, a loss of muscle mass. Of course not. This is only a correlation link.

However, a very recent study has shown that a lack of sleep has a considerable impact on the loss of muscle mass and on the reduction of fat oxidation. This study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (October 2010) compared two groups to assess the impact of a decrease in sleep time (8.5 hours vs. 5.5 hours) on body composition.

“We examine the effect of sleep restriction, designed to approximate the short sleep times of a society, and may compromise the effect of reduced-calorie diets on excess adiposity [… ]. The combination of energy and sleep restriction in overweight adults resulted in a modified state of negative energy balance by a decreased loss of fat and considerably increased loss of fat-free body mass. Our experimental data show that sleep plays an important role in the preservation of human fat-free body mass during periods of reduced caloric intake.”

The scientific community has clearly demonstrated the correlation between sleep deprivation and weight loss. A lack of sleep makes weight loss very difficult to achieve, since it has a direct impact on two hormones related to the regulation of appetite. In the occurrence leptin and ghrelin. (If you would like to have more information on the subject, please let me know in the comment section that follows the article).

What makes the study so interesting is that it demonstrates a direct link between lack of sleep and loss of lean mass in a caloric restriction situation.

Thus, it would seem that during a period of caloric restriction, a lack of sleep would cause a metabolic, neuro-endocrine and behavioral reaction that would make your attempts at weight loss excessively difficult.

In clearer terms:

A lack of sleep makes weight loss difficult.

But a lack of sleep during periods of caloric restriction makes a loss EXCESSIVELY difficult.

So keep in mind that it’s not all about numbers. It is not so simple to lose weight that you spend more calories than you ingest. Several variables have a very important impact on the possibility of oxidizing as much fat as possible. That’s fine weight loss, but what we’re aiming for is no more a loss of fat in order to get a body composition worthy of your dreams. For this you need your MUSCLE MASS.

That’s why your healthcare professionals such as your kinesiologist, nutritionist or doctor are constantly talking about having a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some factors that will have similar effects to lack of sleep:

1. Stress

2. Poor nutrition (quality)

3. Lack of recovery from your workouts

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