Most of our clients are probably sick to death of The Edge: Clontarf personal trainers driving home the importance of sleep and how detrimental good sleep is to, not only your training goals, but also healing injuries (in fact, all of your healing is done as you sleep) and your overall mental performance each day.
As seen with many health issues at the moment, these include joint pain, colds, fatigue etc we have actually started to normalized them. As we have with bad sleeping patterns, you develop bad habits- going to the bathroom 2-3 times per night, restless leg syndrome, various sleep apneas. When we sleep, our bodies are paralyzed and for a good reason, our bodies only heal when we are not moving, so if we are tossing and turning at night how are we suppose to fully recover??
Neurologist Dr Stasha Gominak has explained that when bad sleep occurs we stop repairing our genetic weaknesses, she explains that bad sleep increases the likeliness of Cardiovascular disease, lower testosterone levels, decreased immunity and so much more.
Here are some great tips we use to ensure our clients get the most restful sleep possible:
Caffeine intake: If you are sensitive to coffee, limit your intake to 1-2 cups per day pre 1pm. Caffeine has a long enough shelf-life, (roughly 9 hours) so if you can’t excrete it fast enough, you must take your dose early!
Time your carbs: Taking in some carbs with your last meal of the day can aid sleep by building some precursors to the calming neurotransmitter serotonin, try some starchy varieties like sweet potato, rice and beans.
Make sure your vitamin D levels are adequate: Low vitamin D levels are a sure way of having bad sleep and everyday fatigue. Vitamin D blood levels should be roughly (60ng/ml). If we can get your vitamin D levels to this optimal range, sleeping patterns should improve. One of the main reasons for Vitamin D aiding sleep is that this Vitamin has a high affinity for the area of the brain associated with sleep.
Be consistent: Your body and brain love consistency, especially when it comes to sleep. Getting to bed by 10:30/11pm (without a phone, laptop or TV) each night teaches the body to wind down at the same time and develops a healthy sleeping regimen.
Exercise: Sedentary lifestyle is associated with altered sleep. We don’t need to train everyday, but our bodies are designed to move. 20-30 minutes of activity every day should be plenty for most people to lower your stress hormones and help to heal your body with good sleep.
Adding these tips to your daily routine can positively affect your health and well-being but also make a big difference to your training goals!