Getting enough sleep for gains

General discussions about getting and staying fit that don't relate directly to your indoor rower
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Gammmmo
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Getting enough sleep for gains

Post by Gammmmo » April 29th, 2019, 6:15 am

Last few years I have not done a regular M-F 9-5 style job. My current job has meant the max amount of time I sleep at night tends to be about 6hrs. I am often in bed for just over 7hrs. Some nights I am getting more like 5hrs. My schedule means I have plenty of time to nap in the day. I'd say 90% of the time I can fall asleep within minutes but I wake up literally around 10 mins later. I often dream during these short naps which I understand is the body's way of catching up on sleep deprivation. Rarely do I nap for 60-90mins despite having the time to do it. I don't really feel tired on this regime but I have noticed when not working getting 7-7.5hrs in one go stops the napping and I do instinctively feel better for it.

So.... :D my question is do you have any similar experiences of sleep and changing it's patterns and what effect did that have on your workouts? I am trying to decide whether I should change job (difficult) not just for the gainz but also chronic health....
Paul, 48M, 5'11" 80kg (sprint PBs HWT), ex bike time trialler.
LP=1:16, 100m=15.9s, 1min=350m Image
Targets: 355m+ 1min, 1:27(500m), 3:11(1K), bench 2 plates, squat 3 plates, deadlift 4 plates

Erg on!

lindsayh
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Re: Getting enough sleep for gains

Post by lindsayh » April 29th, 2019, 8:17 am

Gammmmo wrote:
April 29th, 2019, 6:15 am
So.... :D my question is do you have any similar experiences of sleep and changing it's patterns and what effect did that have on your workouts? I am trying to decide whether I should change job (difficult) not just for the gainz but also chronic health....
Paul I am not a sleep physician but my understanding is that the science behind the health benefits of regular 8 hours per day (more for the young) is pretty settled. It is very bad for us to try to rely on much less in the long term. There was also a study which looked at elite basketball players performance and found that they performed better on I think 8.5 hours/day then less. Therefore if you can get 8 hours then that is best both for general health and athletic performance. There is the real world though where not always possible. Napping may be a way of helping.
There is also some good science behind napping and as it turns out the 10-20 minute "powernap" is actually much better than 90 minutes. The power nap is best done in a quiet sitting back position rather than lying down position and it is important not to get to full REM sleep so not too deep. There are 2 daily rhythms in play - the 24 hour circadian that is well known and reinforces the need for us to sleep at night and the 90 minute ultradian rhythm which occurs through the day. If we sleep too long (say 60-90') there is a risk that you will sleep too deeply and wake up at the bottom of an ultradian cycle in a trough and feel worse not better. Good power nappers have increased work/play productivity and good health benefits.
Lindsay
69yo 93kg
Sydney Australia
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PBs (65y+) 1 min 349m, 500m 1:29.8, 1k 3:11.7 2k 6:47.4, 5km 18:07.9, 30' 7928m, 10k 37:57.2, 60' 15368m

Tenshuu
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Re: Getting enough sleep for gains

Post by Tenshuu » April 29th, 2019, 3:41 pm

I will further this question - Is napping just a person-by person basis in terms of being easy to do?

I hardly ever feel like I need a nap during the day, unless I'm actually struck with illness, or have taken a benadryl. Otherwise taking a nap seems difficult, I can't ever seem to relax all of my body systems enough to drowse off, unless maybe I did it outside in the warm sun (not a good plan).

Anybody have some 'nap routines' they use to idle their mind/body to prepare for a nap? My sleep tends to be closer to 6 hours than 7 or 8, partially my own fault because my work schedule and commute time have me leaving home at 7:30AM and returning home near 6:30PM - Just enough time to get dinner cooked, devoured, and child in bed. Then I usually get my 1 hour rowing session in during this time, and try to relax with the missus until we try to sleep by 10PM (Often stretches closer to 11PM lately).

Starting to think my home location is my time management problem, but tends to be convenient for help with child sitting/privacy from the population.

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hobbit
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Re: Getting enough sleep for gains

Post by hobbit » April 29th, 2019, 5:18 pm

I'm lucky as I am semi-retired - only work about two days a week, usually choosing my own schedule. So I sleep from 11:30 to 7 (alarm) Then drink tea and check newspapers. Then, most days, at 8: pull-ups, pushups, core routine, pilates, yoga, proprioception, etc. for about 45 min. Every day, nap after lunch from 13:00 to 14:00. My best sleep - I drop off straight away. Then down the gym for elliptics and erging at 16:30.

I must admit, I could nap at almost any time, if possible. I've never slept well at night, so having a nice break in the middle of the day is a great improvement, compared to the regular hours I worked previously.

I've read about this 10-20min power nap before, but my one hour after lunch nap doesn't seem to do my circadian cycles any harm.
M 65 163cm/5' 4" 57kg/126lb
2k 8:16 (2018) -- 5k 21:03 (2018) -- 30' 7038m (2018) -- 10k 43:19 (2018) -- 60' 13475m (2019) -- HM 1:34:04 (2019)

Erik A
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Re: Getting enough sleep for gains

Post by Erik A » April 29th, 2019, 7:00 pm

i am one of those that dont sleep for very long at night. i typicaly get 5-6.5 hrs per night. one thing that peeves my wife is that i come to bed and in literally seconds im asleep.
i am awake at the same time every morning regardless of when i go to bed. i can have a big night out on the drink and go to bed at 4am and at 6am i will be awake (not usualy good for F all but awake)
i also nap most nights after work but like the above it will be a short 5-10 mins. i sit down on the couch and asleep in a heartbeat.
i have always been able to sleep anywhere and generally any time day or night. noise (not excessive noise) and light dont bother me.
i am last to bed in my house and first up the thing that bugs me the most is that once awake i cant go back to sleep. so if i go to bed at midnight and wake at 2am then im awake for hours and i may have a nap before i go to work at 7am
Erik
56 yo from New Zealand
6'4 and 125kg

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Gammmmo
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Re: Getting enough sleep for gains

Post by Gammmmo » April 30th, 2019, 2:46 am

Tenshuu wrote:
April 29th, 2019, 3:41 pm
Anybody have some 'nap routines' they use to idle their mind/body to prepare for a nap?
There's all the usual stuff such as make the room as dark as possible, use ear plugs, cool body temperature, turn off electronics before/during, reduce blue light, don't have a massive meal prior to going to bed, make sure you are hydrated but not to the point you'd have to get up in the night etc. As for napping in the day, this is something I've been able to do pretty much at will in the last 10 years albeit only for 5-10mins of actual sleep. It's very useful - I do feel very refreshed but in my case like I say there is more going on as I dream too and I shouldn't be, apparently.

In order to quiet the mind, meditation is supposed to be good (friend of mine has an even more irregular sleep schedule due to job than I and has reported good results). I just deflect any thoughts that come into my mind and tell myself "think about that later", or I concentrate on how my body is lying and in particular how various body parts are resting (I know that's weird but don't mind sharing) - it's a case of being present and not indulging abstract thought. Works for me.

As regards, getting enough sleep for gains. I am sure I saw a new study highlighted by Youtuber "Jeff Nippard" that said it wasn't actually as important as you might think - can't find it now though. Most studies I've seen have suggested muscle breakdown from consistent lack of sleep i.e. progress stalls and goes backwards. I've not had that, so am keeping fingers crossed I can keep the hypertrophy/gains going, not least by optimising everything else as much as possible e.g. diet, programming etc.
Paul, 48M, 5'11" 80kg (sprint PBs HWT), ex bike time trialler.
LP=1:16, 100m=15.9s, 1min=350m Image
Targets: 355m+ 1min, 1:27(500m), 3:11(1K), bench 2 plates, squat 3 plates, deadlift 4 plates

Erg on!

Tenshuu
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Re: Getting enough sleep for gains

Post by Tenshuu » April 30th, 2019, 9:07 am

Gammmmo wrote:
April 30th, 2019, 2:46 am
Tenshuu wrote:
April 29th, 2019, 3:41 pm
Anybody have some 'nap routines' they use to idle their mind/body to prepare for a nap?
There's all the usual stuff such as make the room as dark as possible, use ear plugs, cool body temperature, turn off electronics before/during, reduce blue light, don't have a massive meal prior to going to bed, make sure you are hydrated but not to the point you'd have to get up in the night etc. As for napping in the day, this is something I've been able to do pretty much at will in the last 10 years albeit only for 5-10mins of actual sleep. It's very useful - I do feel very refreshed but in my case like I say there is more going on as I dream too and I shouldn't be, apparently.

In order to quiet the mind, meditation is supposed to be good (friend of mine has an even more irregular sleep schedule due to job than I and has reported good results). I just deflect any thoughts that come into my mind and tell myself "think about that later", or I concentrate on how my body is lying and in particular how various body parts are resting (I know that's weird but don't mind sharing) - it's a case of being present and not indulging abstract thought. Works for me.

As regards, getting enough sleep for gains. I am sure I saw a new study highlighted by Youtuber "Jeff Nippard" that said it wasn't actually as important as you might think - can't find it now though. Most studies I've seen have suggested muscle breakdown from consistent lack of sleep i.e. progress stalls and goes backwards. I've not had that, so am keeping fingers crossed I can keep the hypertrophy/gains going, not least by optimising everything else as much as possible e.g. diet, programming etc.
Might start trying the 10-15 minute nap on my hour lunch breaks, with an alarm set of course. I haven't really tried any meditative states in a long time, but the way you describe it reminds me of how I used to try to relax - visualize body parts releasing their tension and relaxing starting at feet and moving up the entire body until everything has relaxed.

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hobbit
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Re: Getting enough sleep for gains

Post by hobbit » April 30th, 2019, 12:13 pm

I concentrate on how my body is lying and in particular how various body parts are resting (I know that's weird but don't mind sharing) - it's a case of being present and not indulging abstract thought. Works for me.
This is actually close to a technique that you find in relaxation/getting to sleep advice. The "body scan", checking that each little bit of you is relaxed. Also imagining that each part is getting heavier and gently sinking into the mattress.
M 65 163cm/5' 4" 57kg/126lb
2k 8:16 (2018) -- 5k 21:03 (2018) -- 30' 7038m (2018) -- 10k 43:19 (2018) -- 60' 13475m (2019) -- HM 1:34:04 (2019)

Allan Olesen
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Re: Getting enough sleep for gains

Post by Allan Olesen » April 30th, 2019, 3:58 pm

hobbit wrote:
April 30th, 2019, 12:13 pm
The "body scan", checking that each little bit of you is relaxed.
Heh, I remember that from yoga. You think you have relaxed every little muscle in your body, and then the instructor mentions "the spot between the eyebrows". Oops.

Cyclist2
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Re: Getting enough sleep for gains

Post by Cyclist2 » May 2nd, 2019, 10:04 pm

Allan Olesen wrote:
April 30th, 2019, 3:58 pm
hobbit wrote:
April 30th, 2019, 12:13 pm
The "body scan", checking that each little bit of you is relaxed.
Heh, I remember that from yoga. You think you have relaxed every little muscle in your body, and then the instructor mentions "the spot between the eyebrows". Oops.
Years ago I started a book called "Peak Performance". It was a training plan, which if followed rigorously would eventually allow you to consciously control your heart rate (or so they claimed). I got a couple chapters into it and was able to relax and concentrate to the point I could make my arms tingle on demand. It was this total relaxation of every body part exercise and it was working, until kids and life started taking up the time I was spending lying perfectly still in a quiet room concentrating.
The mind is an amazing thing, I wish I had had the opportunity to get further with that plan.
Mark Underwood. Rower first, cyclist too.

Andrew Shuck
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Re: Getting enough sleep for gains

Post by Andrew Shuck » May 3rd, 2019, 9:56 am

Hi Gammo,
try reading anything about Brexit. :lol:
Alternative count backwards from 200.

When training hard ie( Pete Plan and weights) i find have more disturbed sleep.. it's by no way perfect now..Like you i go off ok, but wake up at least 3 x a night.
Good luck.
Andrew.
Male 52 yrs. 6'1"All time P.b's achieved in 2019/20....500m 1:22.91k 3:00.2 2k 6:19.25k 16:50.5 10k 34:57.3 1/2 M 1:17:37.3 60min 16557 full M 2:45:52.7 2018 100k 7:37.27.1
You're unique, just like everyone else..

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Gammmmo
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Re: Getting enough sleep for gains

Post by Gammmmo » May 3rd, 2019, 10:35 am

@Andrew - yeah, I've found weights and/or HIIT needs to be done earlier in the day otherwise interferes with sleep.
Paul, 48M, 5'11" 80kg (sprint PBs HWT), ex bike time trialler.
LP=1:16, 100m=15.9s, 1min=350m Image
Targets: 355m+ 1min, 1:27(500m), 3:11(1K), bench 2 plates, squat 3 plates, deadlift 4 plates

Erg on!

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hjs
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Re: Getting enough sleep for gains

Post by hjs » May 4th, 2019, 3:29 am

5 hours sleep, it will kill me :roll:

Naps, if I need those I am super tired. For me training certainly interferes with sleep, also often eat late, 20.00 orso, not good.

Paul, if possible sleep more, there are people who sleep short, but thats often very busy people in the bussiness world, who are not very healthy and do not do phycical labour. In the long run not a good thing.

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Gammmmo
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Re: Getting enough sleep for gains

Post by Gammmmo » May 7th, 2019, 2:52 am

hjs wrote:
May 4th, 2019, 3:29 am
5 hours sleep, it will kill me :roll:

Naps, if I need those I am super tired. For me training certainly interferes with sleep, also often eat late, 20.00 orso, not good.

Paul, if possible sleep more, there are people who sleep short, but thats often very busy people in the bussiness world, who are not very healthy and do not do phycical labour. In the long run not a good thing.
6.5hrs per night in one go would generally be the max for me and like I say more like 5-6hrs more typically due to not falling asleep instantly, body clock waking me before my alarm goes off and allowing for any periods during the night I might be awake (annoying). Like I say I can nap during the day and I usually do this once or twice but am asleep for only 5-10mins. The thing is, in general, I don't feel that bad.

There has been research into spreading sleep out differently into an alternative pattern from the classic 7-8hrs/night in one go which is really a relic from our ancestors sleeping when the sun goes down and waking on it's return. I do wonder whether I've re-trained my body to need less sleep by following a different pattern, as per this article for example:

https://www.businessinsider.com/polypha ... ?r=US&IR=T

...I suppose the kicker really is that I do TEND to feel better when I have had 7-8hrs in one go.
Paul, 48M, 5'11" 80kg (sprint PBs HWT), ex bike time trialler.
LP=1:16, 100m=15.9s, 1min=350m Image
Targets: 355m+ 1min, 1:27(500m), 3:11(1K), bench 2 plates, squat 3 plates, deadlift 4 plates

Erg on!

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Gammmmo
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Re: Getting enough sleep for gains

Post by Gammmmo » May 11th, 2019, 9:24 am

As an experiment I've today started taking the adaptogen Ashwaghanda which reputedly lowers cortisol. I strongly suspect of late my cortisol levels are high (thus making gains and building muscle even more challenging for this 47 year old) due to poor sleep for reasons I won't go into here. Hopefully there will be some demonstrative effect. Worth a shot...
Paul, 48M, 5'11" 80kg (sprint PBs HWT), ex bike time trialler.
LP=1:16, 100m=15.9s, 1min=350m Image
Targets: 355m+ 1min, 1:27(500m), 3:11(1K), bench 2 plates, squat 3 plates, deadlift 4 plates

Erg on!

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