How Does Sleep Help Recovery From Exercise-Induced Muscle Injuries?

Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert. Sport & Exercise Nutrition. British Army Physical Training Instructor (MFT).

Sleep is a critical part of recovery after muscle injury. Research shows it can help speed recovery from muscle injury and boost the body's ability to repair itself.

Sleep can help a muscle recover from minor injuries, such as bruising and local bleeding, and can reduce pain sensitivity.

However, not all sleep is the same. Sleeping at night can improve the muscle's recovery and help it to develop and become stronger.

Non-REM sleep

During non-REM sleep, brain waves slow down. In this stage, body temperature drops, breathing slows, and muscles relax. This stage lasts for about 20 minutes. During stage two, brain waves slow down even more. This stage leads to deep sleep.

Non-REM sleep also reduces heart rate, improves blood flow to muscles, and promotes muscle growth and healing.

During this stage of sleep, the body repairs and regenerates itself. Restoring muscle tissue during non-REM sleep is important to muscle healing and growth.

Researchers have identified a link between non-REM sleep and the production of growth hormone (HGH).

This hormone is a key component of recovery from exercise-induced muscle injuries. This hormone is produced during slow wave sleep, where 95 percent of the human body's HGH is produced.

HGH plays a crucial role in muscle repair during sleep, as it aids in protein synthesis, which produces new muscle cells.

When your body is fully rested, non-REM sleep is more likely to help your muscles recover from exercise-induced muscle injuries.

Non-REM sleep also boosts blood flow, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the injured area. In addition, the release of growth hormones by the pituitary gland during non-REM sleep helps your muscles grow and repair.

Lack of sleep may aggravate your injury and make it more difficult to heal.

Lack of sleep decreases myofibrillar protein synthesis, which decreases the body's ability to repair muscle damage as a result a lack of sleep also results in diminished muscle mass. Muscles that don't fully repair are more likely to be injured.

Post-exercise insomnia

A workout elevates the body's core temperature and releases endorphins, natural painkillers.

The exercise also raises levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, two neurotransmitters that reduce feelings of anxiety and sadness. Moreover, exercise also increases cortisol, a stress hormone.

Sleep also accelerates recovery from exercise-induced muscle injuries. During this time, the body has time to repair and rebuild muscles and tissues.

It also allows the body to restore lost hormones and use energy for muscle growth. But lack of sleep reduces the body's ability to recover and can cause negative feedback loops.

Research on post-exercise insomnia is ongoing. Some studies suggest that exercise is best avoided two hours before bedtime.

This is because the endorphins released after exercise may energize your brain and prevent sleep. However, this effect does not occur when exercise is completed more than two hours before bedtime.

Relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques can be used for many reasons, including exercise-induced muscle injuries.

They can also help control anxiety and reduce muscle tension. However, it's important to consult your health care provider before using relaxation exercises.

Relaxation techniques can be done anywhere - while standing, sitting or lying down - and can help release tension in muscles.

Depending on the muscle group, these techniques may take up to 10 minutes. However, it's best to focus on one specific muscle group at a time. These techniques may take a little trial and error to find the right technique for you.

Progressive muscle relaxation involves gradually tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in the body.

The technique can reduce overall tension and can also help you sleep better at night. It's ideal to perform this exercise in a quiet area with no distractions. Start with the toes and work your way up to the neck and head.

Hold each muscle for at least five seconds, then relax it for 30 seconds.

Relaxation techniques have been used for centuries and are relatively inexpensive and easy to practice.

Using them regularly can improve your health and help you relax. Many of them involve increasing awareness of your body and refocusing your attention on a calming object.

Relaxation techniques are also a great way to combat the stress we experience during our daily lives.

One technique that has been widely used in sports medicine for many years is progressive muscle relaxation (PMR).

It involves tensing and relaxing specific muscle groups. This technique triggers the relaxation response in the body, which decreases blood pressure and the heart rate.

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Anabolic responses

Sleep is vital for the recovery process after physical activity, such as exercise. It can help the body repair itself by increasing the production of growth hormones.

These hormones help regulate metabolism and stimulate the growth of cells. In addition, they also help with healing injuries.

If you suffer from a muscle injury, sleep can help you recover more quickly and more efficiently.

The science of sleep and its impact on sport is developing, but current studies show that sleep has a role in muscle regeneration and repair.

In addition, sleep deprivation negatively affects muscle tissue. Increasing sleep duration increases IGF-I, which helps repair and regenerate muscle tissue.

When we sleep, the body releases human growth hormone (hGH). More specifically, the pituitary gland secretes 70 percent of hGH during the deepest NREM sleep.

This hormone helps the body repair muscle damage caused by exercise. It has also been shown to repair damaged tendons and ligaments. It also helps synthesize collagen, which helps muscles to heal.

Lack of sleep decreases the production of growth hormones and increases catabolic processes, which leads to muscular atrophy.

As a result, a lack of sleep will delay recovery from exercise-induced muscle injuries. Lack of sleep also increases the risk of developing other health conditions. This is the reason why it's crucial to get adequate rest.


Sleep plays a significant role in muscle recovery after exercise. It is thought that sleep releases a hormone called growth hormone, which helps the body repair itself. Moreover, sleep helps the body replenish lost nutrients.

Growth hormone is released in the body during deep sleep and non-REM sleep. It regulates metabolism and helps in cell reproduction.

Good-quality sleep is essential for muscle recovery. It helps the body recover from muscle damage and improves its performance and pain sensitivity.

It also helps the body fight against inflammation, which makes recovery difficult. When your body does not get enough sleep, inflammation can become unchecked, which can hinder muscle recovery.

Sleep also helps muscles heal faster. The pituitary gland releases important growth hormones during sleep. If your body doesn't get enough rest, your muscles won't heal as quickly and you'll risk further injury.

If you're a regular exerciser, it is crucial to get enough sleep. But many people don't realize how important sleeping is for muscle recovery.

Luckily, there are many ways to increase your sleep quality.

A study conducted in mice found that exercise-induced muscle damage recovery can be accelerated with adequate sleep. This is because sleep has an important role in improving circadian rhythm and overall performance.

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