Sleep is much more important than precise dosing, the number of reps, the weights you can squat, and even more important than your diet. Because if you don’t sleep well, you don’t grow. 

55% less fat is burned and 60% less muscle tissue grows if you don’t sleep enough. [1]

Sadly, steroids can mess with your sleep [2]. It’s a common, though strictly individual side effect of most steroids out there: some guys sleep perfectly even on high doses of Tren, and some turn in their beds for a whole night after a mild dose of Anadrol

Why Sleep is So Important?

Because this is where the magic happens in many aspects that matter. It’s a critical aspect of your training regimen that can make or break your precious progress. Sleep on steroid cycle is where you get: 


First and foremost, sleep is the holy grail of recovery [3]. During the deepest stages of sleep, your body releases growth hormone, which stimulates tissue repair and muscle growth. If you deny yourself this essential restoration time, your gains will suffer, and your hard work may go down the drain.


Athletes who consistently skimp on sleep often find themselves lacking the energy and focus required to work out properly [4]:

  • Reaction time slows down;
  • Coordination falters;
  • Mental sharpness disappears;
  • Stamina is nowhere to be seen;
  • Motivation? What motivation?

You may think you're invincible, but without sufficient sleep, your performance will just suck. Guaranteed.

Hormonal balance

Inadequate sleep disrupts the delicate balance of hormones that regulate muscle growth and fat metabolism. 

  • Natural testosterone, the hormone that builds muscles — goes down;
  • Melatonin, the anti-stress hormone — also goes down;
  • Growth hormone — decreases as well;
  • Leptin, the thing that controls how quickly you burn fat — plummets;
  • And cortisol — the stress hormone that eats your muscles away — goes up.

If it all sounds messed up, you’re right: no sleep means total hormonal disruption, no gains, no energy, stress and fatigue. [5]

How Anabolic Steroids Affect Your Sleep?

Unfortunately, gear in general is not quite the best thing for your sleep patterns. All steroids, from mildest orals like Anavar to hardcore injectables like Deca Durabolin, can affect sleep in numerous ways:

  • Trouble falling asleep;
  • Derailed circadian rhythms;
  • Altered sleep architecture.

It’s all individual. Here’s what you’ve got to be prepared for, anyway:

Trouble falling asleep

When you take, say, Dianabol, your CNS — central nervous system — gets way more stimulated than it usually is [6]. You may get:

  • Easier irritability;
  • Excessive energy;
  • Racing thoughts;
  • Aggression, aka roid rage;
  • Increased alertness. 

In other words, you get anything but calm and peaceful. The aroused state is the enemy of a good night’s rest: you need to calm down to fall asleep, after all. 

Derailed circadian rhythms during sleep on steroid cycle

There’s a ton of studies on the interaction between Testosterone and other hormones. To fall asleep, you need a whole chain reaction to happen, with multiple substances playing their crucial role:


Melatonin is dubbed “the sleep hormone” for a reason [7]. Your body makes it naturally in the pineal gland, and it’s the most important hormone that you need to fall asleep. Anabolic steroids limit the natural production of melatonin, making the process of falling asleep a struggle.


A neurotransmitter that takes part in sleep regulation [8]. This one is also responsible for your mood, so if you feel like a boss on cycle or, on the contrary, feel like total trash — you know what to blame.


Another neurotransmitter. It’s a natural “timer” that helps your body understand when it is time to get some rest [9]. It's produced throughout the day as a byproduct of energy consumption, and when there’s enough of it, you start feeling sleepy.

There’s also Orexin, GABA, and a whole list of other hormones that take part in sleeping pattern regulations, but we don’t have enough research to say whether they really interact with anabolic steroids, or not. 

Altered Sleep Architecture

You probably know that you have different stages of sleep:

  • Stage 1 — Falling asleep, the lightest one, mostly useless;
  • Stage 2 — Light sleep, gives you an energy boost, but no recovery is happening;
  • Stage 3 — Deep sleep. The one where all the recovery and growth happens;
  • Stage 4 — REM (rapid eye movement) stage. The one where you reset your stress.

Unfortunately, excessive doses of anabolic steroids can deprive you of stages 3 and 4, making your sleep less effective in every aspect. 

Final Word

Are you guaranteed to have all three negative effects on your sleep on steroid cycle?No, you are not. You MAY get some of them, though.

To learn what you can do about it, read Part II of this guide — 5 Best Ways to Improve Sleep During Your Steroid Cycle


  1. Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity —
  2. Effects of anabolic androgenic steroids on sleep patterns of individuals practicing resistance exercise —
  3. Sleep, recovery, and metaregulation: explaining the benefits of sleep —
  4. Sleep and Athletic Performance: Impacts on Physical Performance, Mental Performance, Injury Risk and Recovery, and Mental Health —
  5. The Impact of Sleep and Circadian Disturbance on Hormones and Metabolism —
  6. The Role of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids in Disruption of the Physiological Function in Discrete Areas of the Central Nervous System —
  7. Melatonin Biological functions —
  8. Serotonin and Sleep: Molecular, Functional, and Clinical Aspects —;
  9. Adenosine and Sleep — by The Sleep Foundation —