Alongside training and diet, SLEEP IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING you can optimize.
By Marc Lobliner, CMO Tigerfitness.com
I keep seeing things like “The 4:00 a.m. Crew” and “4:30 a.m. Club” where people wake up absurdly early to be more productive.
This is great, assuming they get to sleep at 8:00 p.m.
The issue is that all I see is when they wake up, not when they go to sleep. Alongside training and diet, SLEEP IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING you can optimize. When you don’t get adequate sleep, which I interpret from the data to be about six to nine hours per night, you WILL suffer hard with horrible things such as:
1. You’re more likely to get sick. You can’t train if you’re sick!
2. Your heart health can suffer.
3. Your brain function is impaired.
4. Your libido decreases.
5. You’re more likely to overeat and gain fat.
6. You will have trouble gaining muscle.
Just imagine waking up at 4:00 a.m. on four hours of sleep and actually hindering your performance in life and in the gym – INSANITY!
It’s not just about quantity of sleep; it’s about quality of sleep. I cannot budget more than six hours of sleep most nights because of my schedule and having to handle international business and my children’s sports practices that can run late. So how do we improve quality of sleep?
Quality of sleep can be improved by using one or more of these steps that will make the sleep you DO get more impactful:
1. The Bedroom Is for Two Things, Sleeping and Having Sex
I learned this my freshman year of university in Psych 101. It stuck like body paint to a nipple. Since that day, I have not had a television in my room. Unless reading a good book to relax before bed, I do nothing in my bedroom outside of sex and sleep.
Even your smartphone, do not use it in your bedroom! More on this later.
Just get in bed. If with your partner, have sex then go to sleep. If alone? Well, never mind. The bottom line is your brain will associate the bedroom with sleeping and the horizontal mambo. If you’re not fornicating, only one thing to do? Sleep!
Note. It is 100% OK to have sex in places other than your bedroom. I just recommend not falling asleep afterwards if in public.
2. Shut Down Your Smartphone 20 Minutes Pre-Bedtime
This one will hurt some millennials, and prevents that epic pre-bed selfie of your fine rear end, but you’ll thank me when you fall asleep fast.
Artificial light – up to an hour before bed – can suppress melatonin and make you more alert. If you’re like me an hour is a bit much, so let’s turn that off for 20 minutes. However, if you look at point one and need your phone to watch porn to enhance the act? I guess we can make an exception.
When I am not traveling, my wife and I make an MTS Nutrition Whey brownie, brew a cup of decaf coffee, and watch TV for 20-30 minutes. We brush our teeth and go to sleep (or do that other thing you do in the bedroom).
We are programmed to do this, and I try to keep a similar routine even when traveling in hotels. Form your own bedtime habit to program sleep into your mind. The power of habit is immense.
4. Dark and Cold
Be sure to make your room as dark as possible, with dark shades and blinds. Keep the temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re like me, you care about your electric bill too much to do this. Get a fan or install a ceiling fan and keep the air at 72 degrees or so. This should suffice and not speed climate change too much.
5. Consider a Sleep QUALITY Supplement
Some sleep supplements simply knock you out and in turn make it difficult to wake up and DESTROY your day by making you groggy and drowsy. I want a supplement that can help me fall asleep, help me sleep deeper and also help to improve my mood throughout the day.
This is why I recommend everyone take Ritual PM nightly.
Ritual PM even contains a special ingredient called Affron® that has been demonstrated to reduce depression and anxiety symptoms, allowing you to sleep deep and rise renewed.
The take-home is to get your sleep and when you do make sure it’s quality sleep. It will save your gains, your health and maybe even your life.