Article last updated: January 2019 by Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer
There are 4 things essential to changing your body-composition:
- Stress management
A lot of people neglect sleep and stress management which together have at least as much effect on your body-composition as your diet.
When you sleep your body recovers for the next training session and builds muscle.
After a poor night of sleep, your hormones go to whack, training performance goes down, your appetite is much higher so you eat more Calories and you crave sugar and junk food more.
Here are my guidelines for optimizing your sleep:
- Get ready for bed 10.5 hours before you have to wake up. If you have to wake up 7 AM, start getting ready for bed 8:30 PM. Set an automatic reminder on your phone for each day to get ready for bed 8:30 PM.
- Turn off electronics 1 hour before getting ready for bed to let your eyes rest from the blue light which prevents good sleep. If you need to use electronics, use an app like FLUX to change the colors on the screen after it get’s dark.
- Have a hot shower to relax your muscles, stretch out tight spots on your body to speed up training recovery and clear your mind by writing down all thoughts on a piece of paper. Plan out your next day by writing down the tasks you will do the next day in the right order. This takes stress of your mind so you can sleep better.
- Sleep in a quiet, pitch black and cool room.
- Make sure your room is aired out regularly and is clean without dust so you get lots of good air when you sleep. Good air = higher quality sleep and recovery.
- Sleep on the left side of your body with a pillow between your legs. This increases the amount of air you get into your body during sleep.
- When you wake up the next day, try to get a few minutes of natural light as early as possible. This prepares your brain’s circadian rhytm so you can sleep earlier later in the day.
Here’s a hack to reset a bad circadian rhythm: Supplement with melatonin until you can sleep at an earlier time again.
If you do all this you will feel so much more clear and energised each day.
Be proud but stay hungry!
Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer