Sleep is essential for a person’s health and wellbeing, according to most health experts. Yet millions of people do not get enough sleep and this has been linked to increased health risks in a number of areas such as heart disease, obesity, and chronic fatigue.
One of the most critical components to any successful weight lifting program is ensuring that you get enough sleep for your muscles to repair themselves. It is important especially if you are stuck at a plateau in your routine, as getting enough sleep is critical to your progress.
Here are some common sense hints for getting you the sleep your body deserves:
1. Get plenty of regular exercise and try to complete your workout at least three hours before bedtime. Exercise increases the amount of deep sleep you get.
2. Eat dinner two to three hours before bedtime and minimize liquid intake. Heavy dinners tend to keep us awake, as do meals that are high protein. Some people report better sleep with a glass or warm cow’s milk or soy milk.
3. Begin slowing down at least one hour before bedtime. Take thirty minutes before bed to use for relaxing, such as soothing in a warm bath, meditating, reading a book, and/or listening to calming music.
4. Avoid products containing caffeine. If you have trouble sleeping, this is very important! Try not to consume caffeine after the early afternoon if you have problems getting to sleep.
5. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime, as it will interfere with your sleep later in the night.
6. Avoid foods and drinks high in sugar. As your sugar level drops during the night, your sleep may be disrupted.
7. Establish regular times for bed and for waking.
8. Improve your sleep environment, i.e. comfortable mattress and pillows, quiet, dark, comfortable room temperature. People report that they sleep better when they take the TV out of their room.