Five Ways to Take Control of Sleep – The X factor for Body Transformation
Sleep your way to the top!
The top of a Successful Body Transformation!
(Please, what did you think I meant?)
Dirty thoughts aside….
Let’s focus on the topic of SLEEP
A POWERFUL tool in your body transformation arsenal
By getting QUALITY sleep (7 – 9hrs straight on a consistent basis) your body can take full advantage of vital rejuvenation processes
Giving your body the chance to REPAIR, RECHARGE, REPLENISH & RESTORE
Ultimately resulting in benefits such as:
- Feeling better
- Looking better
- Better workouts & enhanced recovery
- More Muscle / Less Fat!
- Strong immune system to keep you fighting fit
All mainly through the regulation of key hormones – in which I will explain..
Now I recommend you stay with me on this as I explain the hormones involved
Because it will allow you to understand WHY you should focus on QUALITY sleep & treat it as important as nutrition & training
If you are short on time, scroll down to the REPERCUSSIONS (IN BOLD)
The FIRST Players are GROWTH HORMONE & TESTOSTERONE (BOTH GOOD)
Both necessary for numerous benefits & released during deeper stages of sleep
Believe me YOU WANT these hormones pumping!
Two of the most powerful & beneficial hormones on the planet
Boosts Your Muscle Growth
Gets You Lean
Sleep deprivation will only limit the release of these super hormones….
So the result… Low energy levels & suboptimal muscle repair
And muscle is what drives higher metabolism (the key to LONG TERM FAT BURNING potential)
But….that’s just the start
A single night of sleep deprivation can also ELEVATE GHRELIN levels & REDUCE LEPTIN levels
Why is that bad?
GHRELIN is a hormone that spurs appetite & drives us to eat & increases appetite for high- calorie foods
LEPTIN is what suppresses appetite – leaving you to eat more like my dog
The next player is CORTISOL
You have probably heard of this one before (mostly negative)
That buzzword associated with stress & belly fat?
But before you start labelling it as the Devil’s culprit think of it as double edge sword…
What do I mean?
Well it does has a couple of important jobs (getting us up in the morning, necessary for fat burning, even anti inflammatory in small doses)
It helps our body RESPOND to STRESS by RAISING BLOOD SUGAR (Remember this one)
So you need it in the right amounts at the right times
Which happens if you have healthy sleeping patterns & not chronically stressed
When sleep deprived, this messes up cortisol secretion(causing prolonged levels)
A prolonged high concentration in the blood results in loss of tissue proteins (muscle breakdown) & HIGHER levels of blood sugar
You mean all that time I spent building muscle can be slowly wasted away!?
Well yep that what I am saying
Okay so what’s else then?
So along comes another hormone called INSULIN
INSULIN is released in response to any rise in blood sugar and you
The effect is cortisol & insulin are now around together trying to balance each other out
Causing an exaggerated effect on Lipoprotein Lipase (FAT storing hormone! Something you want to stay far, far away from)
This prolonged battle causes the potential for unwanted body fat to be stored!
And….. Is the start of developing INSULIN RESISTANCE (1st stage before diabetes yikes)
INSULIN RESISTANCE occurs when your cells do not respond appropriately to insulin’s message of shuttling nutrients into your cells
Sort of like being at a loud concert & having to yell at your friends until they hear what you are saying
Not a state you want to be in (not just for fat loss but also health!)
If you got all of the above give yourself a pat on the back
Now let’s put it all together
Decreased GROWTH HORMONE & TESTOSTERONE
Elevated CORTISOL & INSULIN
Which ultimately results in……
POOR MUSCLE RECOVERY
INCREASED FAT (particularly abdominal fat)
INCREASED LIKELIHOOD OF DEVELOPING INSULIN RESISTANCE
Yuck! I don’t think we want this at all
So all those nights you mum told you to go to bed
She was right, and, now you know why it can mess things up when it comes to developing a super body transformation
So how do you ensure you sleep like boss from now on?
Follow my FIVE guidelines below so you will be so good at sleep that you can do it with your eyes closed (pun intended)
1. Develop a Sleep routine
Now you may thinking to yourself it is too difficult with a job, a partner, children, ageing parents, friends, hobbies & countless other commitments
But that’s all the more reason to have a routine
So you can sort yourself out
I mean how bad do you want that change within your body?
Sleep should be a priority!
Now follow these three simple steps
- Set yourself a time each night to go to bed (give yourself a 30min window)
- Set yourself a time to get up each morning
- Avoid sleeping during the day
These steps will help your body clock get into a rhythm & make sleeping feel easy
I know life will sometimes get in the way
The important thing is to be consistent so your body can adapt
Be sure you aim for 7-9hr of uninterrupted sleep each night for this to occur
Other suggestions to include to establish this routine:
- Have a warm shower
- Change into comfortable loose clothing or none
- Write down your thoughts at the end of the day – helps relax the mind mind and clear thoughts that may keep you up
Listen to relaxing music (or meditate) for 15min
2. Create the right environment
By making your bedroom into a Bat Cave!
The Bat Cave is dark, cool and quiet.
Sounds awesome right?
Or am I just a big kid who loves his superheroes?
Make that cave dark!….
Even buy yourself some black curtains
Keep the room at a cooler temperature (19 degrees Celsius is perfecto)
White noises & fans can also help
Also don’t forget to invest in a comfortable & quality mattress with a supportive set of pillows
Nothing can offset your sleep worst than an uncomfortable bed & lumpy pillows
Okay so you have your Batcave in mind
Next is avoiding screen time at least 1hr before bed (2hrs even better)
This is so your body can produce the hormone MELATONIN
MELATONIN is a hormone that regulates our sleep patterns
I want you to see it as an internal clock
It rises in the evening & reduces in the morning
Lights from electronics devices (TVs, Phones, IPads, computers) can reduce this hormone significantly
“But I am always on my phone” you say
Give the the app F.lux a go which changes the lighting to more night/sleep friendly settings
Or download another app which blocks outs ‘blue light’ the worse for suppressing melatonin
But better off switching off all devices that emit excessive light & stimulation
Sleep tight don’t let there be excessive light – my new expression
3. Pay attention to what you drink & eat
Next time don’t count sheep, eat some lamb!
(Or turkey, even better)
I sound like Sam Kekovich on Australia Day…If you are not sure who I am talking about be sure to check him out on YouTube, absolute gold!
The reason for this protein source comes down to Tryptophan, an amino acid found in most meats nuts, fish, lentils & eggs (most people know of the turkey principle)
So what’s so special about this Tryptophan?
Well it can be converted to serotonin which then can be converted to melatonin (that sleeping inducing hormone we talked about earlier)
Slice me up some turkey.
Hold it right there…
Be sure to include some carbohydrates along with this to make Tryptophan absorb better
Example of a pre night feed could be some fruit, cottage chesse & almonds yum!
Now what to Avoid…..
Alcohol – although can make you drowsy it will actually cause sleep disturbances throughout the night, disrupting sleep cycles
Caffeine – not much to explain here. Just keep it 5-6hrs away from bedtime
For others it would be best to avoid caffeine past midday
Heavy meals – directly before bed as can cause indigestion disrupting sleep
Lots of fluids – don’t need to be getting up constantly to go to the toilet do we?
4. Consider sleep aids
Good old cuppa tea to relax the nerves
Be sure to choose -chamomile, peppermint, lavender or valerian
As have some sedative properties
However don’t overload on the fluids as mentioned earlier
If you really think you need more try some Supplements
Below are some great natural remedies to get sleeping back in order
Magnesium – 5mg/per kg/day
Melatonin – 3-5mg before bed
L-theanine – 100-200mg, 1 to 3 times daily
5-HTP – 50-100mg up to 3 times a day
5. Keep a Sleep Log
Just like with our food intake we need to look at our intake & quality of sleep
Write in a journal or download yourself an App like I have called Sleep Cycle
There is plenty of Apps to choose from find the right one for you
I only started a couple of weeks ago & haven’t looked back since
I now have a better understanding of my sleeping patterns & continue to monitor it as I know how important it is
So there you have it!
Five simple ways to improve sleep you can adopt immediately
Bottom line if you want to burn fat, grow/ preserve muscle and wake up less hungry & not have a Fat day do yourself a favour and get some QUALITY sleep!
I would love to help you transform that body! If you’re ready to put your time and energy into it please email me at email@example.com as I would love to help you get started on your very own transformation.
Dave ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Buck