The quality of your sleep can have a tremendous impact on the quality of all other aspects of your life. This includes your ability to function throughout the day and your overall energy level. Without enough energy, your workout will suffer.
So, if you want to get the most out of your workouts, you need to make sure that you get enough sleep.
But, why is sleep so important? If you can force yourself to work out every day, despite not getting enough sleep, shouldn’t you be able to build muscle and blast fat? Not necessarily.
A Lack of Sleep Can Decrease Your Testosterone Levels
When you don’t get enough sleep, or if the quality of your sleep suffers, your body experiences a variety of ill effects. This includes your ability to maintain testosterone levels, insulin levels, and proper blood pressure.
Difficulty sleeping can also lead to cardiovascular decay, cognitive dysfunction, and a slower rate of cellular repair. This only scratches the surface of the disadvantages of sleep loss.
All of these disadvantages can limit your chances of improving your physique. Your entire body suffers from the lack of sleep.
So, if you suffer from sleep problems, you will also likely have trouble reaching your fitness goals. That is why sleep is one of the first places you should look when you are trying to determine why you’re not building muscle or losing weight.
How Can You Improve Your Sleep Routine?
You’ve probably been told that you need 8 hours of sleep every single night. While this is a good number to aim for, it’s not always obtainable. 7 hours of quality sleep should be sufficient for most adults.
Simply saying that you want to get 7 hours of sleep does not mean that it will automatically happen. The two areas you need to consider – falling asleep and staying asleep.
Even if you have no problem falling asleep, if you wake up a lot during the night, the quality of your sleep will suffer.
The following tips will help with both issues. Learn how to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Set a Consistent Bedtime
If you have a regular work schedule, you should set a consistent bedtime. Set a bedtime that gives you 8 hours to fall asleep and get a good night’s rest. This way, even if it takes about an hour to fall asleep, you will still get 7 hours of sleep.
For example, if you need to get up at 6AM, then set your bedtime for 10PM. This means that you should be in bed by 10, with the lights off and ready for bed.
You may not immediately notice a difference, but after a week or two, your brain will get used to the bedtime. It will know that it’s time for bed, making it easier to fall asleep.
Make Sure That You Are Comfortable
Your comfort can also play a big part in the quality of your sleep. When you wear restrictive clothing, you could limit blood flow. This can increase the chances of waking up in the middle of the night and also promote some of the disadvantages discussed.
The easiest way to prevent this is to sleep naked. Ditch the boxers or briefs and sleep commando. You especially don’t want to limit circulation in your lower region, which could impact your ability to produce testosterone.
Along with helping you get relaxed and prevent the restriction of blood flow, sleeping naked can also keep you from getting too warm. Your body temperature impacts the quality of your sleep.
In addition to sleeping naked to help keep you from getting too warm, you could lower the temperature in your bedroom. The optimal temperature range is between 60 and 68-degrees Fahrenheit.
Go Read a Book for 15 Minutes
If you have trouble falling asleep, then it may help to get up and move around or do something relaxing. Lying in bed, tossing and turning, you will get frustrated, making more difficult to fall asleep.
When this happens, you should get up and go in a different room. Read a book, a magazine, or an online article for about 15 minutes.
It’s important that you do this in a different room. You want to separate this act from your difficulty sleeping. Only once you are fully relaxed should you go back to bed.
Do Not Go to Bed Hungry or Full
You shouldn’t go to bed while you are hungry or full. Both of these situations can lead to discomfort and make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Don’t eat a filling meal just before bed. Though, a light snack about two hours before bedtime could help. Avoid eating too many calories with this snack. Limit yourself to about 150 to 200 calories.
What type of snack should you eat? Try eating a whole grain graham cracker topped with a scoop of cottage cheese and a slice of kiwi. This combination serves a very specific purpose.
The cottage cheese contains tryptophan, which everyone knows can help you fall asleep. But, you cannot actually access this tryptophan without some help, which is where the cracker comes in.
The cracker contains carbs that boost your brain’s ability to absorb the tryptophan. As for the kiwi, it contains antioxidants that can help regulate specific neurotransmitters that are responsible for controlling your sleep cycle.
You want your brain to be free of distractions when falling asleep. Turn off your television and any electronics, including your phone. If you rely on your phone for an alarm, then turn
off any notifications or put it on vibrate. Though, honestly, an alarm clock costs about $5. So, turn off the phone and set a real alarm.
Begin Improving Your Sleep to Improve Your Workout
You now know why you need to get a good night’s rest in order to get more out of your workout. Put these tips into action to improve your sleep quality.
Turn off the TV and electronics, switch off the lights, set your bedtime and take your nightly dose of Sheer Shred PM.
Now, go to bed and start off on the right foot tomorrow, before you begin your next workout!
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