Writing and Sleep

We have reached January 2015. This is the time of the year when people set goals and make plans to

change habits or make resolutions. Some want to make an effort to start a fitness plan or start eating

better. Those are terrific goals to have to start a New Year! I have two goals that I would like to achieve

in 2015.

Writing. Yes writing. I realize as a gym owner this may seem strange, but let me explain. We had a

beautiful new website developed in the fall and something I have wanted to do for a long time was to

start writing my thoughts on various topics related to Health and CrossFit. My goal will be to start going

after low hanging fruit or topics that anyone can use to increase health and wellness. I hope to keep it

simple and short. Hit certain bullet points if you will and add explanations when needed. I get asked

many of the same questions in the gym so I hope this will be a way for me to share some of the faq’s

with everyone. So on to my first topic and my other goal of 2015!


Sleep. How much sleep do you get per night? Do you get 5, 6 or 8+ hours? Do you wake up groggy or hit

the snooze 3+ times before you roll out of bed? If this is you, then you aren’t getting enough quality

sleep. There are times that I am guilty of this as well. So why is sleep so important? Here are 4 reasons

sleep is so important for mental and physical wellness:

1. Your brain gets recharged Memory consolidation takes place and allows for processes that

control emotions and decision making processes to reset.

2. Lack of sleep can lead to potential weight gain Not enough sleep lowers your will power and

therefore decreases your ability to resist junk foods. The hunger hormone ghrelin increases with

lack of sleep causing you to eat more even if you are not hungry.

3. Long-term sleep deprivation can lead to potential serious health conditions According to the

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, “When people consistently fail to

get at least seven hours of sleep each night, the body becomes susceptible to serious illnesses

like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity and depression.”

4. Sleep in Anabolic Want those gains? During sleep, your body works to efficiently repair muscle

fiber damage you did during your workout. Your muscles are repaired during sleep only to be

built back stronger than yesterday.

Here are some tips to help get you more sleep:

1. Consistent bed time Keep a relatively consistent time that you go to a bed and wake up. This

will help regulate your circadian rhythm.

2. Sleep before midnight The hours that you log before midnight are more effective than the

hours after midnight.

3. Track your sleep Do you really know how much quality sleep you are getting? Use a app like

SleepBot or Sleepcycle These apps are a way to log the time you are in bed. It also tracks

movements during your sleep which can disrupt your sleep. You could be in bed for 8 hours but

only getting 6 hours of quality sleep.

4. Noise Keep your bedroom extremely quiet or use a white noise app or fan to create a consistent


5. Light Keep your bedroom dark so your body’s light-sensitive clock believes it is time to sleep.

Put up black-out curtains, turn off the TV, turn your cell phone over, and cover your alarm clock

with something to eliminate all light.

6. Meditation before bed To help get you started, utilize a app like Headspace that takes 10

minutes and offers you guided meditations that help teach you to relax through slow, deep,

controlled breathing.

7. Temperature Keep your room cool, ideally between 65-70 degrees.

8. Stimulants Avoid caffeine especially late in the day. Did you have a cp late in the day? Try taking

L-Theanine, an amino-acid that promotes relaxation and aids in cutting the half-life of caffeine.

9. Exercise It’s not only good for a creating glutes and guns, it can help improve sleep.

10. Beds are for sleep and for S## So that means no cell phone, iPad, TV, laptop or any other device

with a screen. If you want to read go old school and get a paperback!

11. Take a Magnesium supplement I am personally love Natural Calm cherry flavored. A majority of

the population is magnesium deficient. It calms your mind and aids in turning your brain into

sleep mode. Mix powder into room temperature water and enjoy. Warning: Drinking

magnesium without rinsing mouth and brushing your teeth after, can lead to the magnesium

eating away at your tooth enamel. Just make it part of your evening routine!

So what is the ideal amount of sleep? It varies greatly from person to person. Studies show that the

body needs between 7-9 hours. Try different amounts for a week at a time and see how you feel. If you

are training more than 3 times per week I would recommend a minimum of 8 hours. Let’s start together

in implementing these simple changes to try and get more sleep in 2015! How much better would you

perform at your job, with your family, or in school if you are not depriving your body of much needed


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