5/12/16 - 4 Ways to Sleep Like a Champion
Earlier we concluded that at the most basic level, sleep is far more important than we ever could have imagined. Superseding both nutrition and hydration, getting sleep is primary to hormone regulation, fat storage, and optimal performance. On the other hand, losing sleep is the fastest way to derail performance, body composition, and even cognitive function.
Since we agree that sleep is so important, maybe we can benefit from some specific strategies to improve it. Here are four:
- Sleep needs foreplay. Ease into it. If your life is a warzone right up until the moment you hit the sheets, it’s a bit ridiculous to assume you’ll always be able to power down on the right foot. You can train yourself to sleep better by mitigating the environment you enter the sleep stage in. Low lighting and calming habits can make it falling asleep less burdensome. Things like drinking a calming tea and carving out a dead period without work before bed can set the stage for a good night of sleep.
- Bedrooms need borders. Your bedroom is for sleep (and sex). That’s it. Don’t do art projects, Excel spreadsheet evaluations, or eat meals in your room. Creating boundaries can have a double whammy effect. You’ll learn to expect to sleep when you’re in there and the sometimes grey area surrounding where work, social life, meals, and sleep start and end will have clear separation.
- Go pitch black for the win. A cool, dark room is ideal. Exposure to light is the enemy as it produces cortisol in the body. This stress hormone tells us to be awake, eat food, and be alert. Turn off the TV, throw away your Bugs Bunny night-light, and buy some blackout curtains. Even little red blinking lights on DVD players, TVs, and alarm clocks can affect cortisol.
- Say “No” to drugs. It’s remarkable how often and how frequently I hear about men and women on sleep drugs. This isn’t personal, but it’s not a thing, guys. These drugs do one thing. They mimic everything about sleep except the sleep part. They induce the symptoms of sleep (i.e. eyes closed, lack of presence, memory lapse, maybe some snoring) and forget the key elements of sleep (i.e. REM, hormone regulation, etc).
15 Deadlifts (225/155)
10 Chest-to-Bar Pull Ups