A few months ago we discussed the importance of recovery and wrote a short blog outlining how sleep and rest can help you make more #gainz! This week we decided to outline 6 ways in which you can improve your sleep and as a result improve your recovery which will increase fat loss, build more muscle and aid performance in the gym.
No caffeine after 4pm. The coffee culture in the UK is growing year upon year with people starting to drink large amounts of coffee at a younger age. The amount of coffee shops on the local high street out number any other kind of shop and something I have noticed is how young the customers are in comparison to 5 years ago. Going for coffee is now trendy. The main problem with this is that we become used to the caffeine and no longer feel its effects. However, caffeine does affect us, we may think it doesn’t but consuming caffeine close to bed time will interrupt our sleep and possibly make it harder getting to sleep.
Exercise regularly. If you struggle to sleep then adopting a more active lifestyle which involves activities such as going to the gym, playing 5 a side football or even squash will help you sleep better that evening. Especially if you have a sedate job where you sit by the desk all day.
Turn your bedroom into a bat cave. Trying to sleep in a bedroom which is bright will affect the quality of your sleep. In our opinion the best environment to sleep in is, as dark as possible.
Remove all electrical equipment. This is more so geared towards mobile phones, laptops and tablets. Anything which gives off radiation or is connected to the WiFi can hamper your sleep. In fact, one recent study found that sleeping within 4 metres of your mobile phone is linked with an increased possibility of developing a brain tumour.
Backload your carbs. Carb back-loading is a nutrition strategy developed by John Kiefer which is very much body composition orientated. However, back loading your carbs can help you sleep at night providing they are low glycaemia and starchy based carbohydrates.
Supplement accordingly. During our Personal Training courses and Nutrition qualifications we often discuss the use of supplements and whether or not clients need them. One supplement we discuss in great length is Magnesium. Magnesium is a natural mineral which aids and supports over 300 metabolic processes in the body and is also thought to improve bone density better than calcium. As well as this, Magnesium can help us sleep! Magnesium is vital for the function of GABA receptors, which exist across all areas of the brain and nervous system. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter that the brain requires to switch off; without it, we remain tense, our thoughts race and we lie in bed wide awake staring at the ceiling or becoming more frustrated and stressed because we can’t sleep.