Re: Should We Starve Ourselves for 8 Hours Everyday?!?
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But at night, when metabolism is lower and the body requires a lot less energy to function, how catabolic is sleeping?
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Indeed, especially during REM sleep when the muscles are paralyzed. REM sleep occurs in longer periods as the night progresses. The last 4 hours of sleep would be very roughly 40% REM (assuming an 8 hour sleep), whereas the first 4 hours would be more like 10%. Wanting more calories to use during the last 4 hours of sleep seems a little silly; you aren't going to use many calories then. Although, if you do wake up, you would return to earlier stages of sleep, which should require somewhat more calories.
A counterargument is that sleep does not have to strictly follow the "normal" pattern of stage (like 1 2 3 4 3 2 REM 2 3 4 3 2 REM 2 3 2 REM 2 REM 2 REM wake). Patients with insomnia or other sleeping disorders may get proportionately more REM sleep as the body's way of coping with lack of sleep. So, the bodybuilder may be able to adapt to waking up in the middle of the night.
... or maybe not. Many patients with sleep apnea NEVER get REM sleep. Sleep apnea entails waking up up to hundreds of times during the night because the patients stops breathing when they sleep. Waking once to eat is much less extreme than waking 10's or 100's or times; but I believe you would not get enough REM sleep for optimal physical and mental performance if you regularly wake in the middle of the night.
by the way, my primary source of information is my psychology book Invitation to Psychology by Wade and Tavris.