I’ve placed sleep here as it’s essentially part of your rest and recovery protocol.
When it comes to achieving your fitness goals it’s vitally important that you never underestimate the importance of a good nights sleep.
Sleep deprivation will affect you on so many levels. It decreases the body’s level of leptin and increases it’s level of gherlin. These two hormones play a major influence when it comes to energy balance. An in-balance of these hormones can result in your brain being tricked into thinking that you’re no longer full and thus increases your appetite, which can result in over eating.
On top of that, not getting enough sleep will also reduce or slow down your ability to recover after an intense workout. Overtime if this is consistent it can slow down and hinder your progress, which may also lead to over training, inhibiting growth / fat loss and increasing the risk of injury.
Personally after a bad night sleep I also feel lazy and lack motivation, it affects my concentration levels and can impair my memory recall. Try to make sure you have a steady regular sleep pattern, I recommend you aim to get a minimum of 6 hours sleep a night ideally 8.
Not many of us actually have trouble falling asleep but many struggle staying asleep. We are so caught up in preparing for the day ahead and never prepare ourselves for when we are going to bed.
So here’s a few tips to help:
- No caffeine 8 hours before bed.
- Not that you will be drinking much but no alcohol to be consumed 3 hours before bed.
- No blue light activity 1 hour before bed. This means no phone, TV or laptop.
- Try reading a book, novels are best as they wont over stimulate the brain.
- Try going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including weekends. This will help reduce the possibility of social jet lag.
- Supplements such as Zinc and Magnesium as mentioned in the core supps section can help, as can having starchy carbs in your last meal of the day.