I vividly remember not too long ago when I was struggling to get more than 6hrs sleep per night.
I was going to sleep at 12pm and waking at 5am every morning, I felt groggy, restless, fatigued and looked like rubbish! I had low energy during the day, living on caffeine (2 cans of Relentless a day!) and stimulants to keep me going.
I’m sure this sounds familiar to you but I can clearly remember not being able to connect my poor energy levels with my lack of sleep?
The thought didn’t even cross my mind.
I saw ZERO results in the gym, and had ZERO drive to workout.
Thankfully that’s a distant memory, and it’s very rare that I do not get 7-8 hrs sleep every night. I feel refreshed when waking. I have an immense drive for life, my business, a thirst to learn more and my results in the gym improve week-by-week.
How can something as simple as sleep have such an effect on the body and the way you feel . . .
What’s the number 1 goal most people have relating to health? If you said fat loss you answered correctly.
Nearly everyone under the sun wants less body fat. Let’s look into Why Poor Sleep Is Making You Fat.
People often come to me and say they have tried absolutely everything (diets, exercise, etc) but nothing works. More often than not when I delve deeper I find out that their sleep is poor.
They wake up in the night and wake up in the morning in a mental sandstorm, feeling groggy and irritable. Lack of sleep has also been linked to depression, and poor immune system, leading to more colds, viruses and flu’s.
What do you think? It sucks right?
Chasing Your Tale . . .
Have you ever seen a dog chasing his own tale? well that’s what happens when you try and play sleep catch up. It’s like 2 steps back, 1 step forward.
A lot of people get less than 6hrs sleep during the week and then try and play catch up at the weekend by sleeping 10hrs.
I mean . . .
Would you let your phone run out of battery during the week and then wait until the weekend to charge your phone?
No you wouldn’t because you need it to be charged daily. Sleeping well every night is like recharging your phone. The more it’s fully charged the longer it’s going to last.
What do you think works more effectively. . .
A) Exercising for 4 hrs in a row 1 day a week? Or B) Exercising for 1hr x 4 days a week?
It’s the same amount of time but one works much more effectively than the other. For vibrant energy and fat loss you must sleep 7-8hrs per night, Monday through to Sunday.
Growth hormone is released 2hrs into DEEP SLEEP and is needed for fat loss. It is very difficult to lose fat without it. Another tick in the box!
Nope we are not talking about an Oompa Loompa tan . . . That’s melanin! Maybe an article for different day . . . Top 10 Oompa Loompa Tanning Secrets?
Melatonin is released when you place your body in complete darkness and it helps your body relax and switch off. Waking up in the middle of the night disrupts melatonin – so make-sure if you do wake up or go to the bathroom you keep the lights off (no phones, lamps, etc). Just make-sure to remove any hazardous objects on the road to the bathroom. I for one have bashed my toe more than once on a left out Kettlebell! OUCHHH!
Is a stress hormone, poor sleep leads to more stress, which leads to more weight gain. Really we should have higher levels of stress upon waking, which gradually reduce as the day goes on. However many people have their cycles reversed: waking up feeling tired and going to sleep wired and stressed. Late night TV, phones and laptops all keep the brain hyper active, raising stress levels before bed, preventing deep sleep.
14 Top Sleeping Tips
- Take a warm bath 30 minutes before bed. Add 250 grams Epsom salts to enhance relaxation.
- Turn off flashing clocks, TV lights
- Go to bed at the same time every night
- Go to bed before 10pm
- Avoid Coffee and stimulants after 2pm
- You can purchase melatonin tablets (take 1 3mg tablet 60 mins before bed) – make sure to consult your doctor/medical professional first.
- Sleep in the darkest room you can make (the darker the better!)
- Avoid activities that cause stress in the evening such as exercises, checking emails, watching the news, etc
- Wear Blue Light blocking glasses 2 hours before bed
- Wake up at the same time each morning (try and create a sleep routine like a baby)
- Invest in some sleep supplements such as magnesium glycinate, zinc, and ashwagandha.
- Get as much natural light during the day as possible – if you can… go on a walk during your lunch break, drink your morning coffee outside, etc – get outdoors as much as possible
- Journal – write down all the things that are in your mind and causing you to worry, write them down on paper and switch off. Better to do this, than to let your thoughts run wild when you’re trying to sleep
- Meditate – I love to use the app called ‘Calm’ – they have meditation practices to help you sleep. Here are some more benefits of meditation.
Here’s a more in depth article I wrote with 10 ways to improve your sleep.
I would also recommend reading the book – Why We Sleep By Matthew Walker. This book goes into depth about the importance of sleep and how to improve the quality of your health, fitness, and mental well-being through sleep.
Does this apply to you?
- Do you sleep less than 7-8hrs per night?
- Wake up in the night?
- Take longer than 10 minutes to get to sleep?
- Feel tired in the morning?
- Feel wired in the evening?
If you said ‘Yes’ to more than one it is safe to say you have a sleep problem. You would benefit from using my top tips to help restore your sleep pattern.