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Improving your sleep & recovery

This should of course be a priority, though the fast pace of modern life, attention to sleep can often be disregarded to the detriment of our muscles, our mind and our overall health!
To contextualise the importance of achieving adequate rest we just need to look at the natural chain of events that have to occur if muscle growth is to be obtained. These are:
Adequate Stimulus, based on perfect technique + sufficient intensity = Muscle Overload.
Muscle Overload + surplus quality calories + adequate rest and recovery = Muscle Growth.
All very simple, but how often do we under-estimate the importance and benefits of a good nights sleep? Or perhaps more accurately how willing are we to always “make do” with 5-6 hours sleep?
The mind requires quality time to recover too. Would you consider running for 6 hours? Bicep curling for 3 hours? Or squatting for 2 hours? Of course not, so why should our minds be on a treadmill for up to 20 hours per day?
When we’re tired not only do “molehills” become “mountains” but our performance is significantly compromised too. Our reactions, concentration levels and recovery between sets all suffer but in all probability you already know this. What you may not know however is the proven relationship between sleep and natural testosterone production.
Providing we manage a solid 8 hour sleep our brain sends out the order to ramp up testosterone production with levels peaking at 8am while dropping throughout the day to our daily low at 8pm. Imagine your levels of testosterone at 8pm if you only managed 4-5 hours sleep?
It’s not a coincidence that the physical effects you’ll be experiencing at 8pm after a few hours sleep are somewhat similar to the side effects associated with low levels of testosterone! Identifying and discussing the negatives/problem is one thing, however doing something about is quite another but I only have good news for you.
By implementing the following minor changes to your lifestyle you may be able to regain some of your sleep again. As with all advices some points appeal to some more than others, try experimenting and pick several of these and find what works for you. Too much is made of the ‘negatives’ associated with lack of sleep, in themselves they can be an additional source of frustration. Whereas not enough is made of the positives and ease of achieving good quality nights’ sleep including the fact that you’ll feel absolutely amazing for what accounts to a few minor changes, so here you go:
1. Try not to eat anything 2 hours before going to bed.
2. Refrain from any form of blue screen, TV, gaming, phones, laptops etc 2 hour before bed.
3. Try to read something positive/building up in the last hour prior to sleep.
4. Stay hydrated throughout the day.
5. Refrain from alcohol if at all possible and caffeine from 12pm.
6. Try to train first thing in the morning when test levels peak.
7. Refrain from take-away and processed foods, opting instead for fresh meats with vegetables.
8. Try and get outside for 30 minutes within the first hour of awakening.
9. Consider the hours of sleep before 12pm of double value.
10. Try and get out for a 20 minute walk in the evening, away from all distractions – making sense of the day that’s just unfolded.
11. Consider bathing in that last hour prior to bed.
12. Add a few drops of pure lavender oil on each side of your pillow at bedtime.
13. Don’t let the Sun go down on any arguments – to quote an old saying.
14. Make your bedroom as tidy and as dark as possible in preparation for sleep.
15. Finally do your research into potential supplementation. With MK677, melatonin, 5-htp, ashwagandha, magnesium, zinc and vitamin d3 all options.
I appreciate that improving sleep is harder to attain for those of you with new additions to the family but the fact of the matter is, you are the ones that stand to benefit the most.
Hopefully there’s something in the above list for everybody, steps we can all take to pro-actively improve our sleep.


Disclaimer: All exercises and recommendations on this site are intended for healthy individuals without any present medical conditions. If you are currently experiencing any bone, joint, or musculoskeletal pain, we advise you to consult a licensed health care professional prior to commencing any of the exercises suggested within this site. The author, editor, and publisher specifically disclaim all responsibility and liability for any injury arising from the use and application of the information provided within this site.

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