The Importance of Sleep:
One of the most important aspects of any athletes life is sleep. It is the natural biological process in which your brain and body take a period of down time to run the human equivalent of repairs and diagnostics.
A good nights sleep can:
- Significantly reduces your risk of depression.
- Ensure optimal hormone levels.
- Reduce levels of both stress and anxiety.
- Assist in weight maintenance.
- Promote muscle recovery.
- Allow for optimal cognitive function. (Including memory and processing speed)
A common problem in the modern world is an inability to sleep, whether it’s because you feel deprived of recreation, or you just outright can’t get to sleep. This problem is a massive hindrance for those who encounter it; longer recovery periods, poor attention span, poor memory and a poor mood are all some of the side effects from encountering a lack of sleep.
luckily there are a wide variety of options and strategies available to you if you suffer from this issue.
this article will be broken down in to two approaches for getting a reasonable rest – a behavioural approach, and a supplemental approach.
You may wish to refrain from staring at any and all screens up to two hours before you plan on sleeping. Blue light from computer screens and cell phones can be misidentified as daylight by your body which can lead to restlessness.
Wake up at the same time every morning
Whilst it may take a while to get used to, waking up at the same time every morning regardless of how tired you feel can ensure you go to bed at a reasonable hour at night, you could change your timetable to encourage this, for example, going to the gym before work instead of afterwards. after an extended period of commitment to this routine you may find yourself waking up before your alarm even goes off.
Avoid caffeine as much as possible.
Whilst caffeine can be an effective tool for getting out of bed in the morning, or perking you up throughout the day – caffeine inhibits REM sleep, which is the stage of sleep where your body does most of its recovery. Caffeine has a half life of around 36 hours, meaning that any day you drink it, the quality of your sleep will be diminished – 8 hours without rem sleep is less beneficial than 4 hours with.
Take ZMX before bed.
Take a Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B6 formula to help you drift off. this formula has been shown to help you fall asleep easier. it also reportedly causes a noticeable increase in the likelihood of dreaming, more specifically experiencing a vivid dream. ZMX has also been shown to help manage the bodies regulation of hormones. The only potential downside is that due to your deeper sleep you may find it more difficult to fully wake up in the morning. The temptation to lie back down and close your eyes can be overwhelming. We also incorporate a blend of Zinc and Magnesium into our night time protein.
Take 5HTP before bed.
5HTP is a supplement tailored primarily to repairing the 5HTP Receptors in your brain (which regulate dopamine distribution). it can be used to promote a healthy sleep and many users take it before bed.
L-Theanine can be used to help you dose off too. This amino acid, initially found in tea leaves, is regularly used for it’s relaxing properties. It is popular in both the world of nootropics and natural sleeping remedies. It works by boosting GABA, Serotonin and Dopamine levels in the brain and shutting down more “excitatory” chemicals that could potentially lead to a lack of sleep.