Sleep – The Secret Weapon for Improved Fitness
Food and Healthcare Press Releases Wednesday January 14, 2015 09:51
Do you find yourself overwhelmed with too many chores and activities? Do you feel like your weekly run around Lumpini Park is not giving you the satisfaction you used to get in the past? Do you feel like you’re not getting the best results from your nutrition plan, no matter how hard you try to keep away from fast foods, khao kha moo and kluay tod?
You might actually be tired. The first thing you can do to give your energy level a boost is to make some time for quality rest. It is highly possible that despite all your efforts to make the right food choices and dedicate some time for exercise, your body is just yearning for a nice, good rest. Sometimes getting a good night’s sleep can be as beneficial as a good workout, especially if you have a demanding schedule.
The next time you’re thinking of spending a quiet evening at home to catch up on your sleep, but get influenced by your friends who want to check out the latest club along action-packed Thonglor, think about the consequences of accumulating sleepless nights that leave you tired, both physically and mentally. You know when your battery is low!
Preparing yourself for a good night’s sleep
Thai people love to snack, but we should remember to choose not just the right food, but also the right time. Sugary drinks like cha nom kai mook and café-yen are irresistible, especially when your energy level is low. But street vendors and small shops load them with sugar and caffeine, which can both keep you from falling asleep. Eating carbohydrates like popcorn, chips and kanom pang krop late at night might not be a good idea either. Instant noodles for a midnight snack can be replaced by a serving of fruit, for example.
Samantha Clayton, Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife, emphasizes how sleep habits can help boost your fitness level. “It’s not the actual workout in the gym alone that helps your body to positively evolve and adapt. Exercise actually places stress on your body, and it’s your body’s ability to respond to and rebuild from this stress that creates growth, results and body improvement,” she explains. “This is why nutrition and recovery are an essential part of any good exercise/athletic training routine.”
Samantha also shares with us four good bedtime habits to help you sleep better.
Create a wind-down routine
A face cleansing routine using warm water and your favourite products will get you into a bedtime frame of mind. It will make you feel as though you are removing all the dirt and stress from the day. It’s your internal cue to go to sleep after a long day.
Avoid using the computer and TV as part of your bedtime routine as much as possible. The screen on these devices just further stimulates your senses. Sometimes when you’re very tired, you’ll fall asleep with the TV on… and a few hours later, you’ll be disappointed when the noise from the TV wakes you up from a perfect slumber. Instead, calm your mind with reading a good book or listening to soothing music.
Avoid a late night sugar rush
Avoid sugary foods and alcohol before bedtime. Alcohol in particular can be responsible for disrupting the most important part of your sleep cycle and could wake you up in the middle of the night. A better solution would be to try calming your body with simple yoga stretches or start to practice meditation.
It’s important to sleep in a room that’s dark because lights can be stimulating. Exposure to light also affects your natural circadian rhythm. It feels natural to go to sleep when it’s dark and venture out for fresh air when it’s bright. Turn off all of the lights at bedtime. If your sleep environment is naturally lit, or if you’re a night-shift worker, consider installing light-blocking curtains. If you’re a frequent traveller, use a good eye mask on your travels. Excess light can disrupt sleep.
*This article are brought to you by Herbalife in line with its mission of providing nutrition for a better life and promoting healthy, active lifestyles.