The newest supplement, recovery aid, performance enhancer in the strength and conditioning world is…
Not just being able to sleep, but quality and quantity. The ability of the body to recover depends greatly on your REM sleep and having a good sleep schedule each night. This is when the body recovers the most. There is no quicker way to ruin a good training program than to not get enough sleep, become fatigued, over trained, breakdown, and stop training.
People always tell me that they sleep but they wake up at 3am or 4am wide awake and cant get back to sleep. Usually this is caused by looking at cell phones late at night. The body gets tricked into thinking the bright light is the sun and signals the body to start producing cortisol (a stress hormone) to wake you up around 2am-4am to get you ready for the “day”.
The number one thing I try to get across to people with injuries, overtraining issues, or lack of motivation is that they need a good night time routine before bed. I usually am strict about cell phone use and have my phone set to “do not disturb” automatically at 7pm. Now obviously some nights I must make phone calls or respond to things after this hour but the standard time that I stop using “devices” is around 7pm. Then I wind down with the kids, do their bed time routines, then have time with my wife before our bed time routines. I usually will read for 30 minutes before turning out the light every night and this is my “routine”.
I notice a huge difference turning the phone off by 7pm, with not only quantity of sleep but the quality. When I wake up any time through the night I can then usually get right back to sleep because my body thinks it is still night time, which it is.
As hard as it is, try setting up a sleep schedule for yourself. Create a new habit of “winding down” at the end of the night and turning the phone to “do not disturb”. Then find a relaxing before bed ritual to do to prepare for a restful night. Get ready to have the best training session followed by the best recovery you have ever had!
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