In my previous Blog I explained why motivation is so important but I’m sure this has happened to you in the past: you were fully motivated to train but once you hit the gym, after 1 or 2 sets you had no more energy. Sometimes a « pre-workout » will not be enough to grant you the necessary energy for training and this is why we need to focus on adjusting our life habits to give our body everything that is needed to achieve a performant workout session.
When we look at professional athletes or a well-toned and fit person with an attractive body we often forget of all the constant required efforts needed to achieve that. Going to the gym and putting effort into your workout is not sufficient: For example, there is no magic trick that allows a basketball player who does not perform and train on a regular basis to wake up the next day only to find out he has been selected to play in the NBA. This player would need to train day and night whether on the field or outside, on both the physical and mental levels.
For training it is the same: you must provide a constant effort at the gym and outside the gym. In order to insure a maximum level of energy you need to look at two important aspects that I would like to share with you, we are going to focus on the first one today:
Sleep is a determinant factor of your energy level, here are a few tips I am sharing with you to help reduce insomnia and help sleep better to reach a superior level of training when working out and in your day-to-day activities.
1- Create a sleep pattern (habit)
First thing you would want to do is to create a routine of sleep or a sleeping pattern,
by setting a regular bedtime. That means that every night you go sleep at the same
time. Depending on your work and other aspects that might impact your life choose
the best time that suits you. Personally I like to go to bed between 11pm to 12am
because then I can wake up earlier: at approximately 8am (I will explain later on in
this email why it’s better to wake up earlier). You also want to wake up every morningat the same time so that your body develops a habit and allow you to get rid of the hassle of setting up alarms. If ever for any reason you didn’t sleep enough or you went to bed later than your regular daily hours, I would suggest you wake up at the same time the next morning and if you feel tired in the early afternoon take a quick nap of 30 to 90 minutes to replenish your energy.
2- Boost your natural melatonin production
What’s melatonin? “In humans, melatonin is produced to regulate the sleep–wake cycle by chemically causing drowsiness and lowering the body temperature.” (You remember I told you I like to wake up early, this is the reason). In order to sleep better you can increase you melatonin production by having more light exposure during the day. Also at night to not confuse your body you want to avoid any electronics such as television, computer, cell phone or any kind of backlit devices. Yes I know it is easier said than done and I am no different, I also like to watch movies or have some work to do on my laptop before going to bed but I tend to reduce my exposure to the screens at night, it is good to keep that in mind.
3- Stay away from heavy meals at night
Try to make dinnertime earlier in the evening, and avoid heavy, rich foods within two hours of going to bed. Fatty foods take a lot of work for your stomach to digest and may keep you up longer.
4- Avoid alcohol or caffeine drinks
Drinking alcohol will disturb your sleep cycle and make your sleep less efficient. If you like having a drink or take a glass of wine during dinner make sure to do it a few hours before going to bed. Caffeine on the other side is correct to consume in short doses, approximately 3 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight but you want to avoid doing it 10 to 12 hours before bedtime.
5- Meditation and deep breathing
Meditation is one of the most efficient ways to relax your body and while you are doing it I suggest taking deep breathes. In doing so it will release stress accumulated during your workday or your workout. Personally I enjoy doing meditation so I do it twice a day.
I hope you found these tips useful and I surely do hope they make you sleep better. Better sleep will allow you to recover and grow more muscles. Feel free to email me back to let me know how it goes!
Talk to you soon