Tips to improve your sleep, by Matt Jones

We've all heard this before. 8+ hours a night. Sometimes life gets in the way. Work, family, stress etc. I know sometimes you can get away with 5-6 hours of sleep, but after a while, it will catch up to you. This affects your performance in the gym and eventually will fry your Central Nervous System (CNS). This will also affect how you recover between intense training sessions which will lead to injuries along the way. So, here are some tips that have helped me get much better quality sleep over the past 6 months or so. This is in no particular order.
  1. Take some magnesium and vitamin D and Vitamin C about 30-45 mins before bed. It doesn't need to be everyday, but definitely on your training days.
  • Magnesium 500IU per day, depending on body weight and how much training was done that day, perhaps around 800 IU.
  • Vitamin D. I  take around 3000IU everyday.
  • Vitamin C. I take around 2000-3000mg per day.
  1. Avoid having sugar before you go to bed. I know everyone says that they get a big sugar crash before bed, but I have found that my blood sugar levels don't stay regulated, therefore I keep waking up several times throughout the night. High protein, high fat is a better option here.
  1. Avoid drinking lots of water before bed. For my body weight, I should be getting around 3 litres or so everyday. On some more active days I probably need more than that. I always try to consume all my H2o before 6pm. As a rough guideline take your bodyweight and divide it by 30. This will give you a number which tells you how much water you should be drinking each day.
  1. Avoid drinking coffee after 3pm. During Ramadan, this may change for me depending on what time I finish work. But as a general rule I try not to have any caffeine after 3pm.
  1. Try not to listen to any loud music on your way home from work. Before the gym and before work is ideal. But if that "Panda" song comes on while I'm driving home from work, I'll probably get excited and crank it up and my head will most likely be out the sunroof. To each his own , but that's just me!
  1. Read something before bed. I know this is a very common one, but when I'm on a reading buzz, this works quite well for me. I know there is soothing music to listen to as well. To be honest I have tried this and it just never worked for me.
  1. Avoid bright lights, t.v screens, Ipads, Phones at least 30 or so minutes before bed. This seems to be a big challenge for lots of people.
I know there are lots of other ways to get better sleep. Since I have been using these, I have felt my recovery between sessions have been a lot better and I have found that I don't have anywhere near as many niggles as I used to. High quality sleep will always allow the body to repair. I hope these tips help.   By: Matt Jones, Innerfight Performance Coach