Sleep. If you aren’t educated about it and implementing that knowledge then don’t expect optimal results in your training and sport, at work or simply in your daily life.
We are always asking our clients and athletes about their sleep routine. Why? Sleep is of major importance for your recovery and performance, fat-loss, muscle building, energy, etc. Most people are aware that we need a good night’s sleep to feel positive, recharged, to stay alert, refreshed, etc. buy many people consistently fail to do it.
Most people get poor quality sleep, poor quantity of sleep or both.
Most people just think about their nutrition and chilling out as how they recover from training in order to see results but these are just a part of it. While you sleep your body recovers from the training and stresses put on the body throughout the day, leaving us refreshed and ready for the next day.
Your sleeping habits need to be consistent but that doesn’t mean constantly going to bed at 1 and getting up at 8. That’s not a healthy sleep cycle to become accustomed to and it will get the better of you. It will not help you to achieve your goals and you will suffer throughout the day with respect to all aspects of your life.
A good quality sleep in as much of a stress-free/distraction-free environment is recommended, not a broken night’s sleep, waking every few hours or bombarded with flashing lights from phones, iPads, etc.
You should be aiming to get at least 7-9 hours per night depending on your work schedule, training volume and intensity, time of year (a bit more in winter), etc.
Lack of sleep is detrimental to our health. Fatigue can lead to accidents when driving or in the work place. Other undesirable but common effects on the body and mind include depression, weight gain and lack of judgement, muscle wastage and burnout from training. You will also lack energy and will struggle to preform to your best in your training or sport. Alot of people struggle with this but may not be aware of why and get used to all these feelings. Feeling crap becomes their normal state of being.
I know it’s all great telling you this when everyone has challenges with young kids waking up during the night, having to work night shifts, travelling with work and so on.
So what can you do?
- Aim to get to sleep before 10.30 as often as possible. Stay in control of this and don’t leave work or other influences change your sleep schedule
- Avoid caffeine before bed
- Develop a pre-sleep routine- review your day, have a bath and then meditate
- Keep your phone or other electrical devices out of your bedroom as much as possible. Electrical activity can disrupt your sleeping patterns
- Manage your stress- don’t go to bed worrying about tomorrow. Organisation is key- plan the following day, organise your training/work bag and prepare the following days food
- Get your breakfast prepared the night before so you can get a few extra minutes sleep
- Short nap during the day if you struggled the night before
If you can try to implement just one of these it will go a long way to getting a good night’s sleep and give you a bit of motivation for developing more habits.
So thats getting to sleep, need some help getting out of bed as those cold and dark mornings as a lot of us struggle?
- Most of it is psychological, as you realise that once you’re out, you are totally awake
- Set your alarm and put it on the other side of the room
- Wash your face or have a shower
- Develop a morning routine- eg. wash face, water, coffee, breakfast, shower, teeth, review day, etc
- Start your day with an early morning session you’ll feel great for the rest of the day
I know a lot of you may lead busy lives with work, family, young kids and may think to yourselves there is only 24 hours in the day I’m not going to waste time spending 7 to 9 hours sleeping but think for a minute how much time in the day do you actually waste doing nothing? Add that up and add it to your current night’s sleep and bingo you will find yourself being a lot more productive through your day.
The most successful and productive people dedicate time to mastering their sleep. Early to bed, early to rise makes a man/woman……. healthy, lean, athletic, productive, strong, wealthy and wise.
You better believe it does.
Stay healthy guys.