Sleep is the natural state of rest required by almost, if not all, animal life on the planet. It is a time of regeneration and recovery and bodybuilder’s have been well-aware of its benefits for a long time. For example, several anabolic hormones are regulated based on the sleep pattern and insufficient sleep can irregulate these signals. Sleep is a fascinating topic that scientists are still unearthing more and more about. A recent presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies discussed a study investigating the effect sleep restriction has on appetite and food cravings. The eleven-day study involved 92 participants undergoing laboratory-controlled sleep. Of those who had their sleep restricted, an average weight gain of nearly 3lbs was noted. What was most interesting is that by day five the majority of these individuals stated that their appetite was decreased. The investigators acknowledged that the weight gain may be attributed to sedentary environment of the laboratory and the fact that the people are awake longer and thus have the opportunity to eat more. While most bodybuilders have a specific meal plan that they stick to religiously regardless of when they go to sleep, this is a real issue for some people who do not.
Source: Banks, S et al. Sustained Sleep Restriction in Healthy Adults with Ad libitum Access to Food Results in Weight Gain without Increased Appetite or Food Cravings. American Academy of Sleep Medicine.