We look after ourselves by exercising and eating right, but don’t forget about giving your body the proper break it needs by resting! Sleep allows our body to reset for the day ahead, so a good night rest is so important for giving our muscles time to grow and develop after a hard training session. Without rest, you’ll become fatigued and won’t be able to perform well the next day. We want to get the best out of our workouts, so give your body the rest it needs and you can give your next workout all you’ve got.
Benefits of sleep
As sleep is the easiest way to give your body a rest, make sure you are getting enough through the nights, around 7-9 hours, depending on preference and circumstance. HGH or Human Growth Hormone is released via the pituitary gland as you sleep, stimulating protein synthesis that promotes muscle cell development, growth, and repair. This is why sleep is so beneficial during training!
How to get a good nights rest
Often, some people find it hard to get a good night sleep, leading to low energy levels for the next day. I have a few suggestions that may help to get you to sleep faster, and give you a proper uninterrupted sleep.
Turn down the lights, and de-stimulate the mind. Don’t watch TV or look at the computer or phone screen in the hour before bed as it keeps you wired and you will find it harder to fall asleep. If you like to wind down before bed, try reading or writing on paper, not a screen.
Avoid stimulants like tea and coffee in the late afternoon and night. Stay away from any caffeine in the later part of the day, as this can make you restless at night.
Have a warm bath or shower before bed, and add some Epsom salts or a drop of your favourite essential oil to help calm and relax you.
Don’t go to bed hungry. Make sure you have eaten enough throughout the day, as a lack of nutrients and fuel can be a cause of waking up during the night.
Try not to eat just before going to bed as your body will be working overtime to digest your food.
Avoid over stimulating your body with a high intensity workout just before sleep. You will most likely find that even though your body feels exhausted afterwards, you still feel awake and restless.
Meditate or do some yoga stretches. It’s a great way to wind down after a long day and prepare your mind for sleep.
Rest is so important, especially when you are working hard on your body and training your muscles. Allow your body to recover and give it time to repair and grow. If you sleep well, you’ll notice how much better you feel the next day. And on that note... time for bed. Good night!