You must learn how to improve sleep if you want amazing results from working out.
I'm sure you already realize the importance of getting a good night's sleep each and every night.
Your progress on any muscle building or fat burning program will be so much better when you sleep well every night.
I know how tough it is to get a good night's worth of sleep.
I have a 7-month old baby girl at the time of this writing. At one point, she would wake up screaming what felt like every 10 minutes throughout the night.
In reality, it was probably closer to once every 2 hours. But, it sure felt like every 10 minutes.
I couldn't get the deep sleep that I needed.
I felt exhausted each and every day. Getting up at 5 AM, working until 4 PM, lifting weights for an hour each day, working on my website every night, and just keeping up with everything really started to take a toll on me.
Without proper sleep, I wasn't making any progress from my weight lifting workouts.
So trust me, I know how tough it is for some of you to get a good night of sleep.
My wife really helped me out during that time period. She would wake up with the baby and take her in the other room. She would take naps the following day to catch up since she works on the weekends and off during the week.
I work during the week and off during the weekends. My wife was my back up plan. She really helps me out, and I try to help her out with whatever I can.
For those of you that have trouble finding the time to sleep or simply have trouble sleeping sometimes, please pay attention to this section and take advantage of the tips and tricks in this section.
Many others have used these tips and tricks to get better sleep each night… these tips are priceless because sleep is THAT important:
Make your bedroom into the most comfortable and soothing place in your home
Get yourself some great pillows. If your mattress isn't comfortable, save up for a new mattress. I have a pillow top mattress that I absolutely love. Pillows can make a huge difference.
Use window shades and dark curtains to keep all of the light out of your bedroom. You need a totally dark place to sleep. Create the best environment for sleep. For example, I have to have some background noise to sleep well.
I need a ceiling fan to make that noise and keep the air circulating.
If you get cold at night and need some heat, buy a small floor heater for those cold nights. It will keep your bedroom warm and comfy.
Another thing that really helps is the use of candles.
Get yourself some lavender or vanilla scented candles and light them in your bedroom a few minutes before you come into to go to bed. Before you go to sleep, make sure you blow them out. The scent will help relax you and lead to much better sleep.
If you have a TV in your bedroom and it interrupts your sleep, you need to move it to another room
If you stay up watching movies or television shows, simply get rid of the TV from your bedroom. I have a TV in my bedroom, but I usually don't let it bother me from sleeping.
I do have trouble when there is a University of Kentucky basketball game on late at night. I try not to let it get me hyped up, but I just can't help it. I grew up as a UK fan (hope that doesn't offend some of you other fans out there) and have to watch every game.
It takes me a few hours to calm down after each game. So, I lose some sleep on those nights.
On a normal night, I let my wife watch one of her favorite re-runs that she really enjoys. I don't enjoy them very much, so I get bored pretty quickly. When I turn over and stop watching, I immediately fall asleep.
That's the routine I am accustomed to that helps me fall asleep quickly each night. My wife calls it a switch. I turn over and fall asleep at that moment.
But, if you have sleeping troubles due to the TV, get rid of the TV from your bedroom.
If you have any trouble sleeping at all, get rid of every piece of electronics in your bedroom. A computer can really keep you up. Video games can do the same thing.
Make the bedroom a temple for sleep only. Your brain will begin to associate your bedroom with sleep.
Last call for working out is about 3 hours before bed time
If you workout closer to bed time, you may have trouble getting to sleep.
I've had some trouble sleeping after a workout 3 hours prior to bed time.
Because I get so pumped up for a workout. I get very aggressive and treat it like war between me and the weights.
The workout gets my adrenaline flowing and keeps me alert for several hours post workout.
Try to do your workout at least 3 hours before bed time to avoid any sleep problems.
If you drink alcohol before going to bed, you should stop
Actually, if you drink alcohol at all, you should stop while on this program.
If you do decide to drink alcohol, do not expect optimal results.
Alcohol will prevent you from getting the best sleep possible. You just won't obtain the deep sleep your body needs to recover properly.
Believe it or not — alcohol is poison. Put it in your body and NOTHING good comes from it.
Yeah, I like to have a little fun sometimes too but you can have fun without it. Or, at least you can cut back and not have so much at once.
If you drink every day or even 2 to 3 times per week, you should really think about cutting back.
Try it… before you know it, you won't even miss alcohol. Actually, you'll probably enjoy life much more since you aren't always trying to recover the next day or two.
Do not use sleeping pills, cough medicine, or anything else to help you sleep better
You do not need pills to help you sleep. You need to simply follow the guidelines in this section to achieve better sleep.
You will become dependent on sleeping pills or other medicine to help you sleep. You will become addicted to these medicines and believe you need them to get proper sleep. You do not need them.
If you really do have some type of problem that is leading to sleep problems, see your doctor. But do not become dependent on medicine to help you sleep. It's just not healthy.
All drugs have side effects and the body wasn't made to continuously work with drugs in your system that you just don't need. Never become dependent on any drug or medicine. Unless you absolutely need them… do not take drugs or medicine.
Always listen to your doctor first, though — even though I don't agree with very many of them.
A good doctor should make sure you are doing everything else correctly before prescribing pills that you may become dependent on.
Do not drink or consume anything that contains caffeine or any other stimulant at least 4 hours prior to bed time
Most soft drinks and diet sodas contain caffeine. You should not be drinking any type of soda while on this program anyway.
Soft drinks are garbage — pure junk — and you don't want that in your body.
Green tea is a very healthy drink, but it contains a lot of caffeine. I only consume green tea prior to a workout to give an extra boost.
If you drink tea containing caffeine before bed, be prepared to be hyped up. Be aware of what you are drinking before bed. Stick to water and you'll be just fine.
Start cutting back on all liquid intake a few hours before bed. If you don't, you will have to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
Always empty your bladder before bed. This ensures you get uninterrupted sleep the entire night. It's not fun getting up in the middle of the night to empty your bladder.
Taper the size of your meals to smaller portions as bed time nears
Never have a huge meal before bed.
When you go to bed, your metabolism slows. If you eat a huge meal, your body may have some trouble digesting this meal as you sleep.
Your body may interrupt your sleep with indigestion problems.
Keep meals before bed to smaller portions. And it's always best to eat good sources of food to prevent indigestion problems. Junk food causes those problems more often than not.
To avoid any issues and get much better sleep, taper your meals down to small sizes as bed time approaches each night.
Schedule your bed time every night and do everything in your power to get into bed at that time each night.
With all the things I need to do, I could easily keep working all night.
But, I make myself stop at a certain time each night and get ready for bed.
I make sure my meals are ready for the next day, pick the clothes I'm going to wear the next day, make sure my water bottle is full, take the dogs out, make sure my wife is on schedule with giving the baby her bath, help her with anything she needs, enter log book information, turn out all the lights, and head for the bedroom.
If you make a schedule and stick to it, your body will reward you with better sleep.
Your body will tell you when it's time for bed. Work hard all day, and you'll sleep even better when it's time. You won't have trouble falling asleep.
Learn to let things go before you go to bed each night
Turn off your ‘care switch' before you go to bed. If you have too many things on your mind that are bothering you, you will most likely have trouble sleeping.
I've been there … done that. It's not fun.
If you have a significant other, always make sure he/she is happy before going to bed. Never go to bed if you've been fighting. Solve the problem, make amends, and then go to bed. You'll sleep much better with no worries on your mind and you'll wake up in a better mood.
Calm down, relax, and you'll sleep much better.
If you need a soothing bath or shower before going to bed, take one. If you have a hot tub or Jacuzzi, this will surely calm you down and relax you.
Start winding down several hours before bed time
Slow down, eat dinner, have some fun, but don't do anything too strenuous as bed time approaches. Have a few laughs.
Fun is always a good thing. Laughing is even better.
Begin turning the lights down in your home as bed time approaches. If you use bright lights before bed time, you will be more alert and awake before you head to the bed. Everything should start winding down as bed time approaches.
Breathe easier and simply wind down every night. This works wonders for your sleep.
I hope you use all of the tips and tricks above, or at least some, to help you sleep better.
Better sleep leads to better results from all the hard work you will be doing in the gym. If you aren't sleeping well, you aren't recovering from workouts.
When you start getting proper rest, your results will vastly improve.
That, my friend, is a guarantee. So work on getting better sleep and at least 7 hours of good sleep each night. Good night and sleep well.