NOTHING is more important for your health and your fat loss results in the gym than sleep.
I have seen people struggle with getting enough quality sleep and once they figure it out their results skyrocket.
Do not fall into the "sleep when I die" trap. More sleep improves EVERYTHING. Make sleep priority #1.
Following these tips will help.
1) Get to Bed Earlier
Go to bed by 10:30 or 11pm. Staying up past 11pm can result in surge of adrenaline that will make it even harder to fall asleep.
2) Cut the Lights After 8PM
Bright lights in the house will keep you stimulated and awake longer. Use the dimmer switch or light some candles after dark.
And put the computer away for the night while you are at it. The emitted light from phones and computers tricks your brain into thinking it is day time. This will prevent sleep hormones from turning on.
At the bare minimum install a blue light blocker like f.lux on your computer and cell phone.
3) Read a Book
Make it something non stimulating (that won't have your mind racing with ideas, etc.) like fiction or an autobiography.
4) Do a Brain Dump
A lot of people have trouble falling asleep because they have so much on their mind. A good way to combat this is have a journal next to your bed and write down your thoughts and to do list for the next day. This helps set the mind at ease.
5) Get Some Sun
Get 20-30 minutes of sunlight each day. This will help improve your natural melatonin production and circadian rhythm. Ever notice how when you go to the beach for vacation you sleep like a baby?
6) Put on Transdermal Magnesium
A lot of people jump to sleep supplements first. I recommend not doing this. They are just a crutch and not going to fix the problem.
Optimizing your sleep through lifestyle is the only way to fix your sleep problems for good.
One supplement I do recommend is transdermal magnesium. Just about everyone is deficient in magnesium and it is hard to get without supplementation. I have found it to greatly help anxiety, stress, falling asleep, and staying asleep.
The key is being consistent with the application and using enough. I recommend 20 sprays ( 5 on each limb) at night before bed.
This is the brand I use.
7) Eat Carbs at Night
In the Coastal Strength & Fitness diet I prescribe that you eat a serving of starchy carbs at night. One of the main reasons for this is that you will sleep better.
Always remember that great sleep is a result of a healthy lifestyle and consistent habits. Do not expect or look for quick fixes. Focus on developing a night time routine/ritual and put in place these tips.
After you give them a try let me know how it goes.
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