I always say that if you want to grow the body of your dreams, you need to be on top of these 4 areas:
1. A weight lifting program customized to your body type and goals.
2. A cardio program that works synergistically with your weight lifting program and goals.
3. A nutrition plan that is customized to your body type and goals.
4. Sufficient rest, sleep, and recovery.
Now I have you covered with rest and recovery as well. Welcome to the 12 tips to Better Sleep.
Sleep is so important to ease the mind and provide your body with the proper rest to repair, grow, and burn fat. You don’t grow muscles in the gym. You grow muscles during the recovery process outside of the gym. Follow the tips below to ensure you’re taking full advantage of your growing (and fat burning) period.
12. Reduce water consumption before bed.
Drinking too much water before bed can cause frequent trips to the bathroom during the early morning hours. Try to stop drinking fluids after 8pm.
11. Reduce caffeine intake (especially later in the day)
Caffeine is a stimulant that helps you stay alert. It also stays in the body for a long period of time, so limit your caffeinated drinks to the morning. Switch to decaf if necessary.
10. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule
Get your body on a consistent schedule by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. This includes weekends. Your body will get use to this habit and eventually you won’t even need an alarm clock.
9. Exercise more
Aerobic, anaerobic, and flexibility exercises can lead to better sleep. It will leave your body stress free and relaxed. Avoid late night exercising as it can leave you with an extra kick of energy. Stick to exercising in the morning and early afternoon.
8. Kick the nicotine (obviously)!
Nicotine is a stimulant to the body. If you can quit (and yes you can quit)…just quit. If not, avoid using it before bed.
7. Make your bedroom a place of rest (and intimate fun…wink wink)
The bedroom is just that. A room with a bed. It’s not the TV room. Remove the TV from the bedroom. Also avoid reading or watching the news, doing work, bringing the laptop to bed, and having emotional conversations that can cause stress while in bed. The bed is for relaxation and intimate fun…oh yeah!
6. Silence the mind
If you’re tossing and turning in bed…get up. The longer you stay in bed the more anxious you’ll get. Go meditate or sit in a chair and read a book (however keep the light dim as you want to avoid bright light).
5. Disconnect from technology
Starring at your laptop, at the TV, or your smart phone can keep the mind stimulated at night. Pick up a book, take a hot bath, and anything else to calm the mind and your senses from all the stimuli.
4. Keep it dark
Having bright lights in the bedroom stimulates the body to believe it’s daytime. Keep the curtains closed and replace large, bright clocks with dim ones.
3. Write your thoughts in a journal
Download all your thoughts to pen and paper. It’s hard to turn off your brain when you have a million things on your mind. Keep your journal by your bed. If you’re stressing about something and wake up with bad dreams, write them down and get them out of your mind.
2. Don’t go to bed starving
If you go to bed starving, you may have a hard time sleeping. Eat something small and nutritious if you’re starving before bed.
1. Limit the length of your “cat naps”
Taking a nap 8 hours after you wake up has been shown to be good for your health. However taking too many long naps throughout the day can affect the quality of your sleep at night. Stick to 15-20 minute naps. Set your alarm clock to be sure you don’t over do it.
So there you have it. Grow more muscle, burn more fat, and stay younger and more vibrant by getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night.
If incorporating these 12 tips don’t help you get a better quality, you may want to consult your doctor.