Get faster workout results and better overall health by giving your body the rest it needs.
You wake up an hour earlier to catch your workout, you analyze everything you eat, but you may be ignoring one of the most important aspects of your workout regimen – a restful night’s rest.
Sleep is the foundation that allows you to exercise vigorously and generally feel comfortable and energized throughout the day, ”says Cherie Mah, a researcher at the Stanford Hospital and Sleep Disorders Research Laboratory.
Although rest is one of the basic functions of the body, such as breathing and eating, we tend to think that you can save on it. Unfortunately, this will not help your health or your fitness.
Chronic sleep deprivation can irritate a person, stimulate appetite and put the body at risk of developing hypertension, diabetes and other chronic diseases.
According to studies, even if you do not get enough sleep for at least an hour of the recommended rate (seven to eight hours per night), it can shorten your life expectancy.
And especially if you’re an athlete, sleep affects your training, memory and reaction time, which are key components of your athletic performance.
Fortunately, multiple sleep adjustments can provide you with the nightly rest your body needs to perform optimally and improve your overall well-being.
Follow these 11 tips for a better restorative rest tonight.
1. Do yoga
You know yoga is good, but it can be very difficult to fit it between strength and cardio workouts. However, doing a few poses before bed can help you sleep better.
Recent research has shown that practicing yoga regularly improves sleep and reduces cortisol (stress hormone) levels. “If your cortisol levels are very high, you start to lose muscle mass.
It interferes with muscle recovery and your ability to store glycogen for future workouts, ”says Catherine G.R. Jackson, Ph.D., FASCM, Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at California State University Fresno.
Already going to bed Try the cat exercise: get down on all fours, and then arch your back, pulling in your chin as you exhale. Then inhale, arching your back and lifting your head towards the ceiling.
2. Sleep at an air temperature of 16 to 20 degrees C.
Research shows that the healthiest sleep occurs when your body temperature drops to the point that your metabolism slows down and gradually allows your body to relax.
Maintaining the temperature in the bedroom between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius or the thermostat on the air conditioner within these limits will help your body reach that core temperature, putting you into deep sleep.
Sleep deprivation minimizes the amount of human growth hormone that is needed for tissue repair.
Cooling down the body and preparing for deep sleep increases the production of this hormone, which in turn helps to recover from yesterday’s workout.
3. Go to bed at the same time
“We’re all attached to our sleep cycles,” Jackson explains. “Setting a specific time for you to go to bed is always better.”
Our bodies operate on circadian rhythms, which are like internal clocks that regulate the mental and physical changes that occur in our bodies every day.
Just like you feel hungry every day before lunch, if you constantly fall asleep at the same time, your body will start sending signals every night at the same time, which will lead you to deeper and more healing sleep.
This means the weekend! Going to bed at 1 a.m. on Saturday nights, when you usually go to bed at 11 p.m. on weekdays, can change your rhythm, making it difficult to fall asleep on Sunday.
4. Eat protein food for dinner
You already know that protein is good for your body; it helps muscles grow and repair after intense training.
Many of your favorite protein foods contain tryptophan, an amino acid that increases serotonin levels, which makes sleep pleasant.
Good sources of protein include chicken, eggs, fish, turkey and tofu, as well as a variety of nuts and seeds. Add them to a serving of carb for maximum effect.
A 2007 study found that starchy carbohydrates like rice can also increase tryptophan and serotonin levels.
5. Find the right pillow
Avoid pillows that are too fluffy or too flat; the best pillow is one that keeps your neck in a neutral position.
The type of pillow you use is a good indicator of how well you will sleep. Research shows that better pillow comfort and better sleep quality stand side by side.
Feather pillows may sound nice, but they are not the best way to get a good, healthy rest. In one study, they were associated with lower sleep quality than latex, foam, and polyester pillows.
Also, if you constantly wake up with stiff neck and shoulders, your pillow may be the reason.
6. Take a bath at about 19.00
A hot bath is often recommended as an easy way to relax and prepare for bed. While baths are a great way to clear your mind, they can also raise your body temperature by reversing the drop in temperature your body needs to go into deep sleep.
Anything that disrupts cooling can alter your sleep cycle, Jackson says. She advises you not to give up your baths, but simply take them a few hours before bed.
7. Don’t eat before bed
It’s tempting to have a snack before bed, but no one can fall asleep properly with a rumbling stomach, right? This is true, and eating too much late at night or even at night can do more harm than good.
While you sleep, you don’t need a lot of energy and your digestive system slows down. Eating a large slice of pizza right before bed means it will be digested while you sleep, when your stomach is not ready to release all the enzymes and stomach acids it needs to turn that snack into energy, leaving you feeling bloated in the morning and possibly leading to an increase. weight over time.
8. Sleep on your back
Most experts agree that sleeping on your back minimizes pain and acid reflux.
Lateral body position during sleep is generally safe, but not good for the stomach.
This position makes it difficult to keep the spine in a neutral position and can cause pain in the neck and joints, as well as in tense muscles.
9. Go to bed earlier and sleep a little longer
Everyone’s sleep needs differ based on age, activity level, and even genetics, but most researchers agree that you should aim for at least seven hours of sleep every night.
For someone with chronic sleep loss, even one bad night can cause slower reactions, increased levels of fatigue, and impaired cognitive function.
For people who regularly save money on sleep, the advice is that consistently adding just 30-60 minutes of sleep each night can give you positive results.
10. Turn off all gadgets
After a long day at work or a particularly hard workout, it is tempting to sit in front of the TV or computer before bed.
In fact, roughly six out of ten people in developed countries use their computers and phones within the hour before bed, according to a 2011 National Sleep Foundation study.
These screens and other technical devices emit blue light frequencies that can disrupt your circadian rhythm and slow down the production of hormones like melatonin that make us fall asleep.
To improve sleep, turn off all screens two hours before bed and dim the lights. Make your room look like a cave: dark, cool and quiet.
11. A glass of milk before bed
Milk is not only rich in tryptophan (an amino acid that helps us sleep well), but also promotes muscle recovery. “Recent research has shown that low-fat chocolate milk is superior to whey protein blend,” Jackson says, highlighting the importance of low-fat milk. A mixture of carbohydrates and protein can also reduce some types of muscle damage. Try drinking a glass of warm or cold milk before bed.