Do you seem to be doing everything right, you’re eating well, you’re training hard and regularly but you’re still not getting the fat-loss results you want?
Sleep is by far one of the most under rated factors in improving health, body composition (whether it be fat loss or muscle gains), sports performance and cognitive functions.
Did you know that it is during your sleep that your body regenerates itself? The first part of your sleep is for physical repair and the second half is for psychological repair. Experts believe that getting less than 7 hours of sleep increase chances of developing brain damage over time. – Alzheimer’s.
If you are not getting enough sleep, your workouts will suffer and so will your day job because your cognitive functions will be negatively affected. Now nobody wants that.
In fact, sleep is so important that it is one of the first thing I work on with clients. Sleep deprivation or poor sleep quality will slow your fat loss progress.
Here’s what you can do right now to improve your sleep:
- Your goal should be to start aiming for 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night. If you are currently only sleeping 7 hours a night; then try to go to bed 30 mins earlier so that you now sleep 7 ½ hours. The trick is to gradually bring that up. If you do not improve your sleep you will drastically minimize your results. It’s that simple.
- Make your bedroom pitch black dark – get blackout curtains. If you can see your hand in front of your face; it’s not dark enough. I’ve had up to 2 curtains and a blackout blind to darken my room.
- Remove all electronic devices including cell phone. Even if your phone is off it emits radiation, which affects your brain and your sleep quality.
- Avoid looking at a cell phone or computer screen 1 to 3 hours before bed. Light entering the eyes will stimulate your brain and reduce its ability to produce melatonin (the sleep hormone).
- Dim the lights in your home an hour or two before you go to bed for the same reasons as in step 3.
- Don’t eat 2 to 4 hours before bed.
- No coffee, or caffeine after noon. If sleep doesn’t improve, you may want to consider dropping coffee all together.
- Avoid taking a shower before bed, take a bath instead if you must wash yourself before bed.
- Use a sun alarm instead of a loud stressful noise to wake you up if you must use an alarm clock.
- 10)Supplement with magnesium of quality.
I have applied these methods with clients and they report an immediate improvement in their sleep quality. Improved sleep means that clients also report an improvement in their energy, mental clarity and productivity.