High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, helps maximize your cardiovascular fitness. But are you really getting the most out of it? Is poor sleep limiting the benefits you see from HIIT?
In 2017, researchers found that even a single night of shortened sleep impaired recovery from the previous day’s HIIT session. Subjects had reduced muscle power, increased blood pressure and soreness, felt sleepier, and lost motivation to train.
Why does the body react that way? With reduced sleep, hormones the body uses to both build muscle and maintain muscle mass become dysregulated. Anabolic hormones that promote muscle growth are reduced. Catabolic hormones that promote muscle degradation are increased.
Source: Dattilo et al, Med Hyp, 2011
Keep in mind, along with impaired muscle health, a lack of healthy sleep will increase your risk of injury, too. A recent study on elite Brazilian soccer players found the number and severity of injuries correlated with reduced sleep.
Dave Gennert is a contributing writer for Eight Sleep and a graduate student at Stanford University in the Department of Genetics. His research is focused on epigenetics in the immune system.