Why Better Sleep Can Help You Stay Lean
It’s often one of those forgotten elements of our daily lives, sleep. Yet, like food and water, we all need sleep to survive.
The questions for many people are: what’s the quality like and how much are you getting?
This is where the parallel with food and water
continues. I think we can all agree that the better the quality of food (nutrients
) and water we get, the healthier we’ll be. The same very much applies for sleep
Just like eating nutrient poor food and drinking dirty water are far from ideal for one’s health
, crappy sleep is a huge detriment
to us. We see mental and physical effects
a consistent cost; alertness dropping, stress
(and its hormonal effects) increasing, hunger changes as insulin regulation is affected also.
In short - with poor sleep patterns we’ll struggle to get or remain lean and muscular.
What are the specifics to aim for?
Everyone is different,
however, aiming for a minimum of 7 hours a night, some people up to 8 on average.
As a guide, be in bed before 10:30
and asleep by 11. If you wake feeling fresh - perfect,
you’re doing well. If you’re constantly tired, start looking at these numbers and don’t compromise!
How do you improve your sleep if it’s lacking?
First off it pays to assess it. Once you have a picture of your current sleep you can address what needs attention:
- Each morning note down what time you went to bed the night before, roughly how long it took to fall asleep, what time you woke, the overall quality (score it out of 10), how you felt in the morning and if the sleep was broken or restful.
- Keep this for a week and pay attention to the details, you’ll soon see what numbers and important details need work.
Then, implement these 5 key strategies for improving your sleep:
1. Switch off
We live in a busy world that is constantly grabbing our attention. Whether it be work, family, technology or our own minds we are relentlessly bombarded by stressor after stressor and one demand for our attention after another. This begins to impact on us, our minds and eventually our hormones, with cortisol increase a direct response to increased stress. This will heavily affect your ability to fall off to a good deep asleep.
You have to wind your mind down to promote your parasympathetic nervous system
in order for ‘rest and digest’
mode to kick in.
Here are some great tactics to switch off:
No work or watching electronics at least 30 minutes prior to bed, dim the lights in the hour before bed, remove electronics from the bedroom, spend 10 minutes doing a brain dump, read something mindless, meditate, level your breathing and heart rate by taking 10-20 big long full inhale/exhale breaths when you get into bed.
2. Get some sun
Not only is regular sun exposure crucial for adequate vitamin D,
something many people are deficient in, but it will help your melatonin production,
which is your natural sleep hormone.
3. Supplement with magnesium, zinc, Vitamin B6 or ZMA
These individual or combined substances are crucial for repair and healing,
whilst aiding in dropping off to a deep restful sleep where this healing can take place. Deficiencies are common in many guys that workout.
4. Eat carbs at night
Good quality carb options - like root vegetables -
with your last meal will help to boost melatonin production making you get to sleep quicker and have a deeper sleep.
They will also provide you with great energy for the morning especially if you train then.
5. Do your nightly rituals after dinner
If you normally floss and brush your teeth before going to bed, or perhaps put the rubbish out, do it well before bed time so when sleep approaches you’re not having counter-productively do your chores.
Implementing these with relentless consistency starting today!
Not only is waking up fresh and smashing a day without tiredness just plain awesome feeling, but strong sleep hygiene
to getting a lean and ripped body.
Ignore it at your own peril.
Focusing purely on helping men become their own perfect mix of 007, Nelson Mandela & Batman, Mike now calls himself a Man Coach
, while also proclaiming to be a well balanced geek-meathead hybrid.
Mike is incredibly passionate about helping guys become the best man they can be. He is the mastermind and creator of the ‘Unleash Your Alpha Coaching Program’
- a proven system for helping men unleash the power and awesomeness that lies within them, not just physically, but in all areas of life.
Plus he loves to cook, eat and talk to his food. He loves stone fruit, cold beer, red wine and to think of himself as a low level Batman. And he likes to lift heavy things, eat meat and write short bios.
You can find Mike at his apartment, the gym or any of these internet places, among other various hangouts: Website