Getting a good night’s sleep of 8-9 hours a night is vital for fat loss, muscle gain, health and sanity – but it’s often the aspect of our lifestyle that feels the least under control.
But before you reach for the sleeping pills or a bottle of scotch, make sure that you have tried these simple tips for improve quality and quantity of sleep:
1.Get off the computer, games console or other electronic gadget at least one hour before going to bed.
2. Read before going to sleep or listen to relaxing music.
3. Sleep in a completely dark and quiet room.
4. Drink no caffeine after midday – or cut it out altogether.
5. Avoid eating sugar late at night. This will cause an insulin response, followed by a cortisol response a couple of hours later. Cortisol is the ‘fight or flight’ hormone, the last things you want to be doing when trying to get to sleep.
6. Eat your evening meal early, no later than 7pm. Avoid eating meals late at night, for the same reason as sugar – it will cause a hormonal response that will mess with your sleep pattern.
7. Drink water throughout the day so that you are well hydrated.
8. If you are stressed, depressed or restless, keep a ‘grateful log’ where you write down one thing that you are grateful for at the end of each day. It will help you go to bed in a better mood and keep those cortisol levels down!
9. Take a magnesium supplement around half an hour before bed. Avoid oxide, go for citrate or Poliquin’s UberMag Plus, which contains four types of magnesium chelate plus tryptophan, which helps the brain relax.
10. Try to get up and go to bed around the same time every day so that you get into a regular sleep cycle.
Photo by Tambako