Not getting enough sleep makes you feel like shit. Sleep deprivation has a negative effect on cognitive and psychomotor performance and mood state partially due to decreases in creatine levels in the brain. For many people, lack of sleep is one of the primary reasons for demotivation in maintaining a consistent exercise routine.
Scientists conducted a study to examine the effect of creatine supplementation on sleep deprivation. They gave the test group 5 grams of creatine monohydrate four times a time a day for 7 days, immediately prior to the experiment. Subjects undertook tests of movement generation, verbal and spatial recall, choice reaction time, static balance and mood state pre-test, after 6, 12 and 24 hours of sleep deprivation, with intermittent exercise.
What they found was that following 24-h sleep deprivation, creatine supplementation had a positive effect on mood state and tasks that place a heavy stress on the prefrontal cortex such as difficult decision making, reaction time, and balance.
Another study found that 5-10 gram dosages of creatine had an immediate effect on sleep deprived athletes and allowed them to perform just as well on repetitive motor skills tests as when they were rested, compared to a placebo group which saw a significant decrease in skill execution. They found a similar result from caffeine supplementation.
This study demonstrated that a single dose of creatine can allow an athlete to perform with their normal precision, strength, and power after being deprived of zzz’s. Interestingly this study also saw a very small increase in testosterone levels after creatine supplementation.
Science looks pretty solid, next time you don’t get enough sleep, take some creatine and you should feel and perform better overall. If you plan on working out while sleep deprived, take 5 grams of creatine about 90 minutes before.
Also not much evidence to support this and not a big deal but don’t put the creatine directly in the coffee. Coffee is a bit acidic and may cause slight degradation of creatine, take them separately just to be safe.