I’m assuming that the title of this post caught your eye and you’re probably wondering what she made more time for!
Actually it was none of the above. The answer is… Sleep! Sleep and recovery are the absolute hands down undisputed champs of the neglected aspects of a fat loss program. It is literally just as important as the food you eat and how often you workout. All of the tremendous, size dropping benefits you derive from exercise take place while you’re in recovery mode.
This is when you
-Build lean muscle
-Get more flexible
-Release stress killing growth hormone
-Replace aging and dead cells
-Replenish your immune system
-Restore hormonal homeostasis
-Increase mental alertness by slowing down the neurotransmitter adenosine.
-I’m probably forgetting like 1,000 benefits!
And that’s a lot of R’s, but I digress. I have seen several people (including our friend in the subject line, Tamara) improve their fitness and body composition considerably by simply adding more high quality sleep and changing nothing else. They obliterated their seemingly mysterious plateaus more quickly than they thought possible. Check this out…
The key is, you need to get to stages 3 and 4 to fully recover from your previous day. These are the deepest stages and will make you feel like you have beyonce and jay-z’s combined incomes.
Great, so how do I get more high quality sleep?
I’m just so glad you asked! Let me give you my top 5 tips right here.
1. Create your “out like a light” routine. It doesn’t matter what it is. It could involve saying good night to a loved one after reviewing your next day, or taking the dog out and then reading for 10 minutes, it doesn’t matter what it is just make it CONSISTENT.
2. Give yourself a face massage! This is not a joke… You can start by simply rubbing your temples, the area around your eye sockets, your cheeks, and your neck. It feels amazing and actually helps you relax by calming the nervous signals around your brain.
3. Read a book or listen to one on tape. Just try it. It’s simply amazing and works wonders for me personally.
4. Meditate for 10-15 minutes. There is an amazing free app called Calm. It doesn’t take long and has been proven to enhance your ability to drop into that deep sleep much quicker!
5. Maintain at least a 5-6 hour gap from last eating to when you retire for the night. I realize this one can be tough if you eat with the fan or dinner just tends to be late, but it makes such a huge difference! When you eat a significant meal it puts your body to work. This is when you want your metabolism taking a rest (in a way) and winding down.
By the way, our mom in the subject line of this email went to bed 45 minutes earlier than normal, created her “out like a light” routine, and learned to calm her thoughts well before actually laying down to sleep. If you wait to wind down until you are actually laying down, you are setting yourself up for failure. Start calming your thoughts 60-90 minutes BEFORE retiring for the night!
I hope this helps you out a ton,