Are Naps Good for Muscle Growth?

When it comes to naps, we all love them, but what are the true benefits of enjoying an afternoon siesta? 


In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of naps, how they improve muscle growth, and how you can take advantage of a little sleep session during your daily routine to improve your health. With our proven tips, you’ll enjoy a little more sleep throughout your day and added benefits to your overall health.

What are the Benefits of Naps?

Naps may be seen as unnecessary by some, but there are so many pros to taking a sleep break during your day. One study demonstrated that naps can actually reduce performance declines, both cognitive and physical. That means if you’re studying for a big exam or preparing for your team’s next match, a nap might be the perfect choice to ensure you perform your very best.

Additionally, naps can also improve your alertness and make you feel refreshed. Whether you take a 20-minute or 35-minute nap, you can also benefit from overcoming the “post-lunch dip” that so many people experience throughout the day. That might explain why, in some parts of the world, afternoon naps are an expected ritual so people can recover, rest, and digest their last meal. These are all great benefits, but let’s get to the important question: can naps help muscle growth?

Can Naps Help Muscle Growth? 

Yes! Naps have been proven to help with muscle growth and recovery. Whether you’re an athlete or a newcomer to fitness routines, naps can be a great way for you to relax and recover after a hard workout. In fact, one study in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance studied six athletes and showed that naps helped with recovery from endurance sports, including running, biking, or swimming. 

There’s an important reason why naps are so helpful for recovery after sports and exercise. When you’re sleeping, you produce growth hormones that help with muscle growth and recovery during your non-REM sleep stage three. That means your body is actively repairing itself and restoring even the muscle tissue while you sleep!. Even when you feel sleepy after a workout or a long day, it’s your body’s way of telling you that it needs time to rest and recover

However, one thing you might not know is that while naps are helpful, sleep deprivation does not actually impact your muscle strength during resistance exercises. Regardless, it’s pretty clear to us that naps are a superpower for your muscle growth and necessary if you want to recover from any of your workouts or even the most tiring of days. 

What is the Ideal Nap Time for Muscle Growth?

Now that you know the benefits of naps for muscle growth and more, it’s important to know when to take these naps. The duration of how long your naps should be for the best results has always been pretty clear. Mid-day napping has been shown to be the most effective, but athletes might find greater results after naps between 35 and 90 minutes, while others might be fine with only 20-30 minutes of rest after their lunch ends.  

One great benefit of naps that you plan between 20 and 45 minutes is that they have been shown to improve your short-term performance. In other words, if you’re preparing for a competition or a big event, a short nap is actually one of the best things you can do to ensure you are ready to go. If you really want to go the extra mile and select a window of time to nap, try early afternoon, preferably before 3 pm. These naps can help you with muscle recovery and growth and reduce your overall feeling of fatigue or tiredness.

How to Use Naps to Your Advantage 

As promised, we’ll explore some important tips to help you use naps to your advantage. From setting aside the time and picking the right time of day to other aspects of your environment, here are some ways you can use naps to your advantage for muscle growth and recovery.

#1: Keep It Short and Sweet

The shorter your nap, the better results you may have. While it might be tempting to cozy up and lay down for a few hours, try to keep your naps less than 90 minutes. This is the sweet spot for the best results and to ensure you complete a full REM cycle for healthy sleep.

#2: Time It Right

As we talked about, you definitely don’t want to nap at the wrong time. Napping right after you get up or only hours before you go to bed can be detrimental for your overall health. Instead, keep your naps scheduled somewhere between 1 pm and 3 pm so you can be the most productive and get the best rest and recovery.

#3: Block Out Light and Noise

There’s nothing worse than being asleep and being disturbed by lights flashing in your room or noises that interrupt your peace and quiet. If you can, block out the light and noise for the duration of your nap so you can rest in peace and without any distractions.

#4: Give Yourself Time to Wake Up

Whether you’re preparing for a competition or not, you definitely don’t want to wake up only moments before you hit the court or head into a meeting. Give yourself a grace period to wake up and ensure you are refreshed. We recommend at least ten minutes to truly make sure you’ve brushed away the last bit of any remaining sleepiness.

Naps can be a great way for you to rest and recover and for you to ensure you enjoy optimal muscle growth! With muscle growth occurring as early as age 35, every step you take today is a step in the right direction to support your long-lasting health and wellness. We hope this blog provided you with plenty of insights to enhance your sleep and muscle recovery. 

For further reading and strategies on how to improve your sleep hygiene, visit to enjoy a wide range of resources and tools designed to help you enhance your sleep quality and health. 


Written by

Marie Soukup

Marie Soukup is a seasoned copywriter, editor, and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with a certificate from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN). With five years of experience working with brands across diverse industries, Marie is passionate about holistic health and crafting compelling content.

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