If you’re working out hard, but not seeing the progress you want and even losing the battle in the gym, you may not be giving your body a chance to recover. You have to prioritize sleep and recovery. Working out at top intensity every day of the week is one way you’ll sabotage your efforts. Every time you workout, especially if you’re doing strength training, you’re making small tears in the muscles and those need time to heal. If you don’t take a day or two off between strength training sessions, it could even set you back a few paces.
It’s not always that easy to get the sleep you need.
The average person needs between seven and nine hours of sleep each night with a few people requiring as much as ten hours. Pressures at work to finish projects on time, family obligations and even insomnia can cause you to get less time than you require. Sometimes, your brain keeps working at top speed, reviewing all the problems of the day and solving those you’ll face the next and you can’t sleep. Make sure your room is dark. A quiet environment is important, but you can have background sounds, like a bubbling brook or calming music.
Put sleep on your schedule with a scheduled bedtime and time to get up.
You normally set your alarm to tell you it’s time to get up and get ready for work. Why not do the same for bedtime. Having a scheduled bedtime helps the body and brain to create a pattern and makes it easier to fall asleep. While it’s easy to look forward to sleeping in on the weekend and spending the night on the town, when you’re first establishing your schedule especially, stick with the same weekly schedule on the weekend.
If your mind is still darting back and forth, train it not to do that.
Learn breathing techniques to relax, adopt a mantra or phrase to repeat or create a mental image that can replace those images you see in the back of your eyelids. If you choose a breathing technique, you’ll get a double benefit. It can be used to help calm you down when you’re under stress and can even help you control your blood pressure. If you choose a mantra, phrase or mental image, why not make it a positive one. Focus on success and the achievement of your goals.
- Learning to take power naps throughout the day can be beneficial and help if you have a sleep deprived night. It’s said that Albert Einstein napped during the day, yet regularly got ten hours of sleep each night.
- Make sure you’re comfortable and your bedroom is cooler. Being too warm affects your REM sleep, an important part and first stage of the sleep pattern. Keep your bedroom between 60 degrees and 68 degrees.
- Too little sleep can sabotage your weight loss efforts. It’s important to help balance hormones. Too little sleep increases ghrelin—the hunger hormone—and reduces leptin—the one that makes you feel full.
- Lack of sleep can increase stress hormones that have been linked with inflammation. Inflammation is a root cause of many serious conditions, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
For more information, contact us today at Thrive Fitness Performance