Sleep your way to improved Fitness & Success

Are you getting enough sleep? How many hours do you sleep per night? Do you have a sleep time routine?

Sleep is one of those things which I would argue might be the number one thing most of us are doing a horrible job managing second would be stress and then third would be diet and exercise. Sleep is what sets you up for success in all aspects of your life. Try to imagine going into a big meeting, attempting a big life or trying to drive to Florida from Pennsylvania without adequate sleep. Sure you can do it and with the help of energy drinks, coffee and stimulant supplements you will probably survive; but what if you wanted to thrive? In todays wired and tired world (especially in the United States where success is top priority for many) we wake up early, go to bed late and make frequent trips to the coffee pot throughout our days at work.

Sadly many things suffer when your sleep suffers; testosterone goes down, recovery takes longer, cells don’t replenish and regenerate effectively, the immune system weakens, the brain doesn’t recharge, fat burning is halted, cortisol and epinephrine skyrocket, melatonin and norepinephrine production goes down, dopamine blunted causing reduction in the feel good emotions throughout your day and so much more. When was the last time you thought about your sleep routine?

We spend on average 33% of our life sleeping and personally I sleep more than the average person so I’m spending 40% of my life sleeping.

1. Setting a bed time and wake time. (The closer you stick to this, the better you will feel)
2. Not eating or consuming alcohol within three hours of bedtime. (This one can be hard depending on your work schedule or habits)
3. Creating a cool sleep environment (62-65 degrees is ideal.)
4. Some meditation, deep breathing, stretching or a cold shower within an hour of bed will help you fall asleep more relaxed.
5. Zero devices the last hour before bed, try reading a book instead.
6. Get a sleep tracker like Oura ring to see how your habits improve over time. (I have one and went from averaging 7.15 hours of sleep per night to 7.46 per night and I’m still shooting for 8 or more
7. Take a nap when possible for 20-30 minutes before 1pm.
8. Don’t focus on work or stressful things within two hours of bed.
9. Invest in some sleep pajamas or at least something light and comfortable to make you look forward to putting it on.
10. Invest in a sleep mask if your room isn’t completely dark.

This is by all means not an all inclusive list of tips to improve your sleep, but it is a great starting point. At Formal Fitness Training we believe in training the entire mind, body & spirit. Don’t forget about sleep. Give it the attention it deserves and your body will thank you with well rested and productive days ahead. You might even save some money on coffee and stimulants!

Onward and upward always!
~Mike

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