If you read our recent article on WHY sleep is so important for building muscle, staying lean and being fit…you may find yourself wondering HOW to get quality sleep. Let’s discuss.
Ok. You’ve been wheeling and dealing all day. You wake up, slam coffee and egg whites then hit the 9-5. After grinding all day for the man, you take a scoop of pre-workout to the face and hit the iron. Feeling reborn, it’s time for some proper nutrition and relaxation before hitting the sack. Maybe you watch Netflix, maybe you surf the web, maybe you’re working on a rock opera in your spare time. Next thing you know, it’s almost midnight. Time to get your beauty sleep…but you’re still wide awake.
Don’t panic, you’re not alone. According to recent statistics from the CDC, more than 1/3 of American adults do not get enough sleep. While there are various reasons and individual circumstances for this issue, an article published by Harvard Medical school cites the following most common contributing factors:
- Sleep Apnea
- Lack of Exercise
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Poor Sleep Habits
Now, obviously if you are suffering any number of the medical issues listed above (sleep apnea, pain, restless leg syndrome, depression) you should seek the advice of a licensed medical professional. However, there are some basic steps that we can take to address things like diet, lack of exercise, stress and poor sleep habits. Here’s a quick checklist you can run through to ensure you are setting yourself up for sleep success:
- Food – go to sleep satiated, not stuffed. While you do not want to put yourself in a catabolic state (burning muscle tissue) at night, you also do not want to cause digestion issues that may prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.
- Caffeine – This is a no-brainer. Stay away from coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, etc. several hours prior to bedtime.
- Alcohol – while a few drinks may make you feel drowsy, alcohol actually disrupts your sleep cycles and prevents you from entering REM.
- Stress – Relax! I know, I know…easier said than done, but robbing yourself of those nighttime gains certainly isn’t going to improve things. Try implementing yoga, meditation and/or relaxing music into your bedtime regimen.
- Poor Sleep Habits – Over stimulation is our modern burden. Reduce the screen time an hour before bed. Read under a soft light instead.
Now, go get your beauty sleep.