“If you wake up at 4am to do cardio after only 5 hours of sleep, you’re stepping over $100 bills to pick up nickels”
— Stan Efferding
We love to prioritize all the sexy stuff — like great programming, the right macros, and fancy supplements. But, one of the most important and under-appreciated tools we have for better body composition and better performance is: sleep.
Like most things in nutrition, there isn’t a secret formula for how much sleep is appropriate for everyone. Generally, though, we want to aim for 7+ hours/night.
If you’re not consistently getting enough sleep, you’re likely to experience:
- Impaired gut health.
- Increased inflammation.
- Increased food cravings, especially for carb-heavy or sugary foods.
- Impaired insulin sensitivity.
- Poor recovery from workouts.
- Inefficient ability to lose fat or gain muscle.
How to Sleep Better
- Eat enough food (under-eating = poor sleep). If you’re not sure if this is you, schedule a free call with one of our coaches here so they can help.
- Cut out all electronics (TV and phone) 90 minutes before bed.
- If the above is not an option, get a pair of blue-light blocking glasses. We are big fans of Warby Parker.
- Cut out all caffeine past 2pm (caffeine has an 8-hour half life).
- Sleep in a pitch back, cold room (62 degrees is ideal).
- If your mind races before bed, do a five-minute meditation (we love the Headspace app) or a five-minute journaling exercise to help calm the mind.
How To Track Sleep
There are a couple of different ways to track sleep depending on what your needs are. If you generally sleep pretty well but just need to hold yourself accountable, there are some free apps you can download that’ll remind you what time to go to bed and also track how long you’re sleeping for. Just tracking this will hold you accountable to getting more. Whatever is measured is improved!
If you wake up not feeling rested or have issues with insomnia, you can invest in sleep/recovery trackers like the Whoop band or Oura ring — both proven to give people the data they need to track and improve their sleep.
Otherwise if you have a condition like sleep apnea, it’s best to work directly with your doctor to work on improving our sleep quality and quantity.
Have questions or want to work one-on-one with a coach? Schedule a free introductory call here.