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Believe it or not, sleep may be the exact reason why others seem to progress much faster than you are.

Or why you just aren’t seeing the results you were hoping for despite putting in the work.

The findings of a 2010 study by the American College of Physicians for example helps put this into perspective.

Researchers split subjects into two groups:

  1. One that slept 8.5 hours per night (which is within the range of what most experts recommend)
  2. Another group that slept only 5.5 hours per night.
  3. Both groups were then put on a regulated calorie deficit for two weeks

The result

Well, as expected, both groups lost the same amount of weight given that their calorie deficit was equated for. But what’s interesting is when you look at the composition of the weight they lost… the sleep deprived group lost 60% more muscle mass and 55% less fat than the group that got adequate sleep.

Therefore indicating that sleep seems to have a powerful effect on not only muscle recovery, growth, and retention but also fat loss. Now although the researchers didn’t test why exactly this was the case, other research does provide some insight.

  • Sleep helps prevents muscle breakdown and promotes fat loss.
  • Sleep impacts your testosterone levels.
  • Sleep affects your workout performance.

So the biggest advice we can give is make sure you get enough sleep.