Written by Coach Brit Holmberg
So now that we know we need sleep to make gains, here are some ways to improve sleep and prevent insomnia and sleep maintenance insomnia ( inability to stay asleep).
- Dietary changes- caffeine is a stimulant and cant last up to 20 hrs in the body. Try cutting back on coffee, chocolate, tea and soft drinks by mid morning.
Eating carbs before bed to release serotonin which is a neurotransmitter that reduces anxiety and promotes sleep. No don’t eat a pizza right before bed, but having starch in a late dinner would help. I like to have herbal tea and some organic popcorn, and yes, I am promoting carbs..
- Lifestyle changes- You need to exercise yes since it reduces stress that causes insomnia but what if you workout at night and it jacks you up!? , Epsom salt baths before bed will act as a muscle relaxant. Also reading a book before bed, white noise, and relaxation tapes/ meditation are proven to all help people fall asleep.
- Supplements- When your awake you produce cortisol and asleep we produce melatonin. This is your body’s internal clock. By supplementing melatonin before bed or earlier that evening, it will trigger the cycle so take 30-2 hrs before bed. This is important for shift workers as well. Too much cortisol and not enough melatonin is a recipe for disaster over time.
5-HTP can be bought in any health food section and can be take before bed. It is shown to improve REM sleep and and reduce anxiety. It can actually be taken throughout the day to manage stress and helps with insomnia.
Herbal teas such as lemon balm, chamomile, and bitter orange have been proven calming agents while essential oils used in diffusors ( I just bought one) have specific oils for sleep that contain Lavender. Please not that this cannot be used internally.
Medical root- There are alot of sleep medications # for sleep such as Ambien, but can become addictive. I promote natural remedies, however will take CBD oil from the canibis plant. This does not contain THC and does not make you “high”.
- Finally, the holistic approach promotes removal of blue light ( electronics) before bed and use of epsom salt stone lights.
Acupuncture has been proven effective, and personally massage with cranial sacral work has worked wonders for me with Susan Knight.
Stay tune for part 3, discussing the dangers of not sleeping, tracking, and how to figure out how much you need for optimal health.
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
WOD: via CrossFit.com
20 min AMRAP
15 body-weight back squats
80% of BW
10 reps @70% of BW
Check back each night at 8pm for the next days WOD