When starting health & fitness the two thing which are addressed straight away is
1- Fitness (train more)
2- Nutrition (eat less)
Delving into the deep end doing more more and more of each!!
Often overlooked is the night time game…..
Could it be that sleep is the secret sauce behind fat loss….
Those Z’s actually count in for a huge amount when it comes to fat loss and training progression
Its obvious but more often than we will sacrifice sleep for other things and it could be the lack of sleep which is costing your results your trying so hard to get….
Let me explain….
SO when we sleep thats when we regenerate, recharge, processing, fat burning and muscle building is all done while we sleep……
We are a construction site at night
We build ourselves up, we fix what we have broken throughout the day allowing our structure to come back stronger, leaner, fitter, and with a ton of energy ……. Well thats on a good nights sleep!
Whereas on a night when we don’t sleep so well
We wake up tired, slow, lethargic, your workout energy is in the basement, you crave those sugary foods!!
Sound familiar right?
You have to prioritise sleep because when we have a AWESOME nights sleep the rest of the day seems to go well, food, training, relationships with loved ones, work colleagues, friends.
WE ARE ON FIRE!!
Whereas with a bad nights sleep the smallest thing can go wrong and you lose your shit, scream at your partner because the cat pooped outside the litter tray then your onto the convenience foods loaded with sugar and digging yourself a bigger hole for your weight loss goals!!
All because of a poor nights kip
Its all to do with the lack of ‘Rest & Recovery’ that happens at night
In a perfect world when you go to bed your stress (cortisol) hormone drops, melatonin raises you stay in deep levels of sleep then allowing to utilise your HGH (human growth hormone) to build muscle, increase bone density, burn fat (metabolise fat) and many more. This is the rebuilding of ones body!! (Anabolism)
But when we don’t sleep well your stress hormone is elevated for longer allowing the body to not recover to its full potential as cortisol is a hormone which cause your body to breakdown (Catabolism)
So with a mixture of the lack of recovery we experience sugar cravings why is this??
As mentioned at night time our body recharges
Now when sleep deprived the front of the brain (prefrontal cortex) energy levels don’t fully recharge (glycogen levels) leaving your brain actively seeking out what is the fastest way to replenish these levels with……… SUGAR!!
And guess what?
SUGAR CRAVES SUGAR
Leading into a day of sugar, sugar, sugar!!
So hopefully you can see the relationship with sleep deprivation sugar cravings and lack of fat loss
So what to do to create better sleep habits?
SO you often find that the recommended sleep is 8 hours…. For someone who is only sleeping 4 hours per night that seems REALLY far away. So for that individual it would be about what can we do to create better quality sleep first
5 TIPS ON HOW TO HAVE BETTER SLEEP
1- Things such a phone curfew or putting on the lux shortcut on your smart phone (Iphone specific. When you slide your phone up your will see a crescent moon with dashes of light coming off in the very bottom dashboard. Click that and it dims the blue light exposure) Too much blue light exposure stimulates cortisol.
2- Caffeine curfew. Im talking mid day having caffeine at the latest. I have done 100s of consults and people tell me there energy is shot and tired throughout the day…. Yet their Pre bed routine is a coffee or tea before bed time yet they tell me that they fall asleep fine….. Thats cool but guess why your energy is shot?…….. Caffeine stimulation while sleeping dude!! Doesn’t allow you to recover and get into those REM deep sleep patterns
3- Pre bed hot drink to be a camomile or lavender choice which has a calming affect on the body
4- Also a little hack for you to get SUPER CHARGED recovery while sleeping. Get to bed during the hours of 10-2 (this is a generalisation and will differ seasonally) and you will get twice the amount of hormonal recovery. This is what i like to call the money making hours of hormonal recovery so maximize these hours!!
5- Pre bed sex!! This is the good stuff and will decrease your stress levels and plain and simple its great!!
Be serious about your rest and recovery, optimise it to your best ability. For your parents out there who are thinking its easier said than done, i am also a parent and being on form with my pre bed routine is what allowed me to not suffer from sleep deprivation….. That and having a Awesome girlfriend……. The second is brewing at this moment in time so this will be tested but i will be using the same practices and have every intention of rocking my sleep and allowing me to preform to my best ability not just in the gym but most importantly outside the gym!!
Much love guys sleep well