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Today I want to talk to you about sleep. Sleep is very important. To me sleep is probably one of the most important things when it comes to how I perform during training and doing competitions. I have noticed in my training that when I do not sleep enough I don’t recover enough and the next day I feel drained and I cannot perform and do the workouts as I normally can. I have noticed that when I do not sleep enough I’m grumpy and a lot of things affect me in ways that they normally don’t. I find it harder to focus, and I find it harder to be mentally strong, if I can put it that way. I’m sure I’m not the only one and I’m sure that everyone reading this is trying to find out how to sleep better without taking actual sleep medicine or drugs but then have other knock-on effects that you don’t really want.
There is a couple of things that I have implemented in my life to help me improve my sleep. I will touch on them briefly and give you as much information as possible in this little post.
One of the biggest things that cause me to not sleep very well he’s having to wake up in the middle of the night a couple of times to go to the toilet. I know you cannot really control your bowels but you can’t control when fluid and food enters your body and thus to a degree you can control when your body needs you to go to the toilet. One thing that I have done to help me control that better, I played around with when to stop drinking for example. I have come to a point now that apart from one glass of water to drink my magnesium and zinc pills before I go to bed I don’t drink anything after 8. I still go to the toilet in the middle of night, but now only once instead of in the past some nights two or three times. This makes a massive difference as I am someone that when I wake up to go to the toilet I’m awake.I’ve also learnt that when I wake up do not turn on any lights or talk to my fiance even if she asks me if I’m ok. I’ve noticed that as soon as I like goes on or as soon as I talk I don’t fall back asleep. It took some time for my fiance to learn to not ask me whether I am ok in the middle of the night after going to the toilet, but eventually she caught on after explaining why.
The second thing I did or do to help me sleep better at night is to not drink any coffee or caffeine after 12 p.m. The reason for this is that caffeine has a very long Half-Life, Half-Life means after a certain amount of hours, half of that is still in your system. This did not take much testing as I just decided that from now on I will not take any caffeine after 12 p.m. As soon as I made that decision and stopped taking caffeine after 12 I noticed that I slept better.
I have one of these smart watches that monitor your sleep and your heart right and all those Gucci things. my fiance has one also, and at some point we got terribly obsessed with what it says we slept like. We would look at it and think how I had an hour of deep sleep last night or I had 3 hours of REM sleep last night. The problem is that you get so obsessed with looking at that that even as you try to sleep you keep thinking I hope I get a lot of deep sleep tonight or I hope I get a lot of REM sleep tonight and that in turn causes you to not sleep as well as you should. at some point in the last two to three months I made the decision to not look at what my watch says my sleep was like last night. And to be completely honest I feel like that has been the biggest difference in my sleep. I feel like now that I do not try to look at what something else says I sleep like I don’t worry about it as much. I also don’t think that these watches are very accurate. There is been multiple times where I sit and watch a movie in the cinema and it says I slept for 3 hours. Or where I have been driving for a while and it says I slept. Now granted maybe I was for a while but definitely not for the entire trip. the point is, don’t bother yourself with what these watches say you sleep like. Just wake up and if you feel like you slept well, assume that you slept well. If you feel like you did not, assume that you did not. In the end even if these watches are extremely accurate it doesn’t help it if it says that you slept great according to the statistics but you feel like s*** when you wake up and you feel tired. Clearly the only one that knows you slept well is you.
The second last thing I want to mention is your activity during the day. I have definitely noticed on days that I trained I sleep great. On rest days which is Sunday and Thursday for me I struggle to fall asleep because I feel like I have not expended all the energy that I have had allocated to my body for that day. So if you are really struggling to sleep maybe try working out a little more or a little harder. Or just realise that it’s on your wrist day every day and that’s okay.
The last thing I want to talk to you about sleep is sleep aid. you get many sleep aid, you get lights that help you fall asleep and that help you wake up naturally, you get pills you can take, you get mattresses that set the temperature to which your body naturally falls asleep better too. there are so many aids out there that help you fall asleep that I can’t cover them all in a little blog post like this. There are many people that talk about this, including Tim Ferriss on his podcast the Tim Ferriss show which is great for many other topics by the way. One thing that I do use is magnesium and zinc pills. if you do not like taking pills you can always get re-hydration supplement like Nuun. these usually contained the magnesium and zinc and all the other things that you need to help you sleep better.
So I hope that this helps you sleep better, and if not at least it helps you to realise that there is nothing wrong with your sleep patterns and it’s just your rest days. Ultimately if you exercise regularly and you have a healthy diet and you do not drink too much coffee or too much liquids late at night you should be fine. Sure, there are people with insomnia that I cannot help, but for the most part these things should help.
So thank you for reading this I hope it helped if it did please leave a comment or contact me on Instagram @leonbfit and if it didn’t please feel free to tell me why I would love to get some feedback and maybe in the future be able to write in a way that helps you or write about a topic that could help you. On that note if you have a specific topic that you would like me to talk about please do contact me and I will endeavor to do so. If I have not experienced that specific topic myself I will find someone that have and get all the information I can out of them and make sure I give you as much information as possible.
Thanks again and have a great day.