Are you getting enough sleep?
Do you have a night-time routine?
Do you fall asleep quickly? Or do you toss and turn for hours on end?
How do you wake up? Do you feel tired and grumpy? Or do you feel refreshed and energised?
These are important questions to ask yourself when you are not getting results. Sleep or lack of; can have a huge impact on your results and how you perform within the gym.
Overall short term a lack of sleep (ie. a night or two of bad sleep) does not affect performance BUT long term sleep deprivation had a significant negative effect on performance.
"Rest comes not from the quantity of sleep but from the quality" ~ George Gurdjieff
Quality is super important when it comes to sleep; that is, we want to aim for 8 hours of deep, uninterrupted sleep rather than 8 hours of tossing, turning and going to the bathroom.
So how do we get a good nights sleep?
As with everything; it all starts with a PLAN! As children we all had a bedtime routine and perhaps if you have your own children, you implement one for them. This bedtime routine should start approximately 2 hours prior to bedtime!
Two hours prior to bedtime - You should aim to turn off all sources of blue light two hours prior to bedtime OR turn your screens to a warm orange setting if possible. Blue light from technology screens closely mimics the light of the afternoon sun. Being exposed to this kind of light blocks the production of our sleep hormone (Melatonin). At night time you need melatonin as it helps you ease into a natural and restful sleep.
One hour prior to bedtime - This is the time to start to wind down. The aim is to decrease mental stimulation and increase relaxation. Some ideas include reading a book, listening to relaxing music or performing some meditation
Bed Time - The ideal sleeping conditions are cool, dark and quiet. It is advised for a good nights sleep to remove all technology from the bedroom to help create a relaxing environment but to also remove any temptation of scrolling through your phone or watching some TV.
A good nights sleep not only can improve your performance in the gym but also can enhance your results.
A recent study looked at sleep and the affect of lack of sleep or extra sleep on performance, muscle mass and strength.
In one study, two groups were in a calorie deficit for two weeks. Both groups achieved weight loss results. Group 1 had 8 hours sleep per night and lost almost all their weight from fat mass. On the other hand; Group 2 had 5-5.5 hours sleep and lost almost 50% of their weight from lean body mass.
So your sleep may not only affect how you perform in the gym BUT also where you lose your weight from!
Do you have a bedtime routine?