How Important Is Sleep?

Dino Paul Pierce is a great natural bodybuilder with a BS in Dietetics. Learn the secrets to the best results!

How Important Is Sleep?

Hey Dino,

This might be a stupid question, but I was wondering how long do you normally sleep at night... Recently I've been trying to get to bed earlier to wake up early and start eating and what not. But I can never fall asleep till later and I wake up around 10 am everyday.

How important is sleep? I mean if I have to I can try to pry myself out of bed with only 4 hours if it comes to that.


I try to get 6-8 hours of sleep a night but that is forcing it upon myself. You see I never had the comfort of sleep. This year I am focusing in on it because it is so important to repair and rejuvenation of the physical and mental aspect.

Historically I would function on 4-6 hours of sleep and be fine. I always felt that if I were able to rest more I would be in a better situation overall. I remember being up earlier than my parents on weekends as a young child so my sleep cycle has always been rather short. If and when I get the opportunity to pull an 8 hour night I do and I feel grateful for it. I know that my sleep cycles are affected by the amount of stress that I have going on in my life as well. I can tell when I was in college and we were in finals I always had trouble sleeping, etc.

Sleep is real important in concerns of hormonal release and recuperation, but we are all individuals so I say if you sleep enough to where you function optimally and you are accomplishing all of your daily tasks you are doing all that you can do.

Like you said going to bed earlier did not assist you in falling asleep. So do not continue to pry yourself out of bed after sleeping for 4 hours particularly if you feel like you have been run over by a Mac Truck. If you are concerned about getting your meals in you can have a meal replacement waiting in the refrigerator wake up down one and then hit the sack for a couple of hours before starting your day.

The following was my take on the subject but according to research that was done by a Cornell psych professor, James Maas, if we sleep less the eight hours each night we are operating with an impaired sense of alertness, creativity, heath, and productivity. Maas claims, "Between the seventh and eighth hour is when we get almost an hour of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, the time when the mind repairs itself, grows new connections and puts it all together.

REM sleep occurs about every 90 minutes, and the periods of REM sleep get longer as the night progresses. If you're a six-hour sleeper, you're missing that last, important opportunity to repair and to prepare for the coming day." Professor Maas goes on to say the we should get 9 - 10 hours of sleep each night, but as we all know that is not possible for most of us due to physiological or situational circumstances1.


1. Kirsch S. Benefits of sleep. Kirsch found. 19 Sept 2003.