When people think about building muscle and burning fat, the two things they always consider are training and nutrition. But sleep quality and quantity are equally pivotal…

That’s because sleep deprivation lowers testosterone and growth hormone, which play important roles in repairing muscle tissue… 

What’s more, poor sleep is linked to increased inflammation in the body – which will make it harder to recover from your gym sessions – and an increase in the levels of insulin and cortisol, both of which lead to increased fat storage and insulin resistance…

Research published by Vielife in 2012 found that more than 60% of British people get less than seven hours’ sleep a night…

Most health practitioners recommend getting eight to nine hours, so there’s a good chance your sleeping habits are hampering your muscle-building / fat loss efforts…

With that in mind, here are my top tips to help you increase the quality and quantity of your shut-eye…

I know we have discusses this already but it is so important for your continued success…

Here are: ‘Tips for a good nights sleep’…

1) Avoid Junk in the Evening: Eating grains and refined sugars before you go to bed will raise your blood sugar levels and create a reactive hypoglycaemic effect that will wake you up and make it difficult to fall asleep again. Refined grains also contain allergens such as gluten, which will cause the body to produce more cortisol. Instead, try a pre-bedtime snack of tryptophan-rich almonds and calcium-packed milk, both of which will help your body produce more sleep-inducing serotonin.

2) Establish consistent sleep and wake schedules, even on weekends.

3) Create a regular relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or listening to soothing music. Begin this an hour or so before the time you expect to fall asleep.

4) Sleep on comfortable mattress and pillows.

5) Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex (keep sleep stealers out of the bedroom such as TV, laptop or mobile phone.

6) Finish eating at least 3-4 hours before your regular bed time.

7) Exercise regularly (

8) Avoid caffeine and alcohol products at least 4-6 hours before bed.

9) Eliminate restless partners to another bedroom.

10) Make your bedroom pitch black. So get rid of any electronic lighting.

11) Ditch your bra and leggings and sleep au naturel: Studies show that tight clothing can curb melatonin production by up to 60% (Melatonin is essential for sleep, health and fat loss).

12) You should aim to sleep in complete darkness or as close to it as possible. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can mess up your daily biological processes and affect your body’s production of melatonin and serotonin, which will have an adverse affect on your sleep. It really doesn’t take much light – even something as dim as the standby light on your television can make a difference. The same rule applies if you have to get up in the night to use the toilet – if possible, do it with the light off. Turning it on will instantly interrupt your body’s production of melatonin.

13) Stretch in the Evening: Performing static stretches in the evening is an excellent way to calm an excited nervous system and get your body ready for sleep. Static stretching has also been shown to accelerate strength and muscle-building gains. Current thinking is that gains in static flexibility are directly proportional to the time muscles spend being stretched, so go for multiple sets of at least 15-second stretches, returning to the start position between each.

14) Combat stress with magnesium: Cortisol is a stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands. High levels of cortisol will affect your quality of sleep, to the point where you might get eight hours but still wake up feeling exhausted. Taking magnesium will help to counteract this because it plays a key role in detoxifying cortisol in the body. What’s more, several studies have found low levels of magnesium can alter electrical activity in the brain and cause agitated sleep. Try a supplement or eating magnesium-rich foods such as spinach, pumpkin seeds and soya beans.

Sweet Dreams Everyone and here is to increased fat loss and health as a result,

The SOS Athletic Excellence Team



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