Sleep is one of the most under rated remedies for better health, fat loss and stress management. However when you step back and look at it with a pinch of logic it makes perfect sense – sleep is your body’s ‘’time out’’ to recover. If you rob it of that it will suffer and in turn so will you. There are few truer sayings than ‘’burning the candle at both ends’’ when referring to a distinct lack of sleep. You are in a nutshell wearing your body down.
It isn’t just a lack of sleep in terms of number that is the issue either, the body likes routine! Most people are probably guilty of not keeping a constant sleep cycle which can also cause excessive stress on the body. Have you ever experienced jet lag? Well when you force your body to stay up until 2am on Friday night, get up late Saturday morning and then get back into your early morning routine the following Monday you are effectively stimulating ‘’jet lag.’’ A lack of sleep or a poor sleep pattern can cause excess fatigue on your central nervous system, potentially have a negative effect on hormone balance (growth hormone and testosterone tend to peak during deep sleep) and even suppress immune function.
So how do you improve your sleep patter?
1 – Rise With The Sun
Whilst this isn’t actually gospel or always possible depending on where you are in the world the human body likes routine. Going to bed relatively early (10-11pm latest) and rising early (6-7am) is perfect territory.
2 – Unwind
Before bed you need to let your mind unwind. It is no good watching TV, playing on a computer and then going straight to bed. The hour before bed try reading a book in silence, relax, allow your mind to gradually reach a point of rest and then go to sleep. Make your room like a bat cave, pitch black! No lights from alarms or the likes of – we sleep much better in pitch black.
3 – Food
If your diet contains carbohydrates then make use of them and save the majority until the evening! Recent science suggests that eating most of your carbs in the evening is better for body composition. The great thing about this is that carbohydrates aid with better sleep because they promote the secretion of serotonin, a hormone which supports a good night’s sleep.
4 – Caffeine
Limit caffeine to 4PM, 6 hours before you are due to unwind. This stimulant which can be very helpful with ENERGY output isn’t ideal too late in the day. By stimulating your CNS (central nervous system) it can interrupt sleep. Caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours hence the recommendation of 4PM. This means saying no to that espresso after dinner in the restaurant and opting for decaf.
Supplementation And Sleep – did you know that supplementing with a magnesium based product such as ZMA can help improve sleep. Magnesium is an essential mineral which allows the CNS to relax and in turn your muscles. Better recovery, better sleep and in turn feeling refreshed are all associated with using magnesium.
For the pure quality and value, Reflex ZMA is my top pick!
There is nothing to lose and all to gain by getting better quality sleep! Follow these steps, feel refreshed and feel like a new person within 7 days!