150508 - Pillow talk

How's your sleep? Getting a solid 8 hours every night? How about getting 6? 

Sleep is right up there with nutrition and smart training with regard to increasing performance. The less sleep you get, the less time you have to recover. Sleep is your body's natural reset time. Systems slow down, you perfuse tissues, pushing out all the junk from sitting at your desk and from throwing down at the gym. 

Here are some tips to help get that much needed shuteye:

1. Turn off all electronics an hour before bedtime. This includes TV, phones, computers, Kindles, etc. Turning off unnecessary lighting in your domicile is a good idea in general, but even better before bedtime. Get that TV out of your bedroom. I can think of at least one thing more entertaining than Conan that you can do in there.

2. Lower the temperature before bedtime. The lower temperature helps with making sleeping refreshing and comfortable. 

3. No caffeine after about 4pm. Everyone reacts differently to caffeine. I know that if my stress levels are high and my caffeine tolerance is built up, it will not prevent me from sleeping. If I'm not pounding coffee all day, even a second cup in the morning will keep me from sleeping before 11pm. 

4. Black out your room. All ambient light should be gone. Especially if you live in a well-lit area with streetlights. Blackout curtains are a $40 investment that can make a load of difference. I've gone to the extent of covering up the light on my fire alarm. Flip your phone over on the nightstand to keep it from lighting up the room when you get an email.

5. Read an okay book. Remember in school when you had to stay up late to finish a reading assignment how hard it was to stay awake? It's because the subject matter wasn't super compelling or interesting and you kind of checked out before finishing. Don't read some page-turner that's going to keep you up at night. My favorite is Organic Chemistry, Second Edition by Thomas Sorrell. My organic professor wrote his own organic text and it's so poorly written and NOT compelling it put me to sleep quickly. 

6. Have a routine. In fitness, routine is a killer. It prevents favorable adaptation. When preparing to sleep, it's a good thing. The best sleep I get is when I turn down the lights and shut the TV off, trundle upstairs and take a nice warm shower, hop into bed with one small light on, read about a chapter of a book, then with plenty of time to spare, turn the light out. I'm sleepy now just thinking about it. Have a relaxing routine and your body will respond in kind.

7. Finally, you can take a magnesium supplement like Natural Calm to help offset any potential magnesium deficiency. A pleasant side effect of taking the right dose is a calming of your mind and body before bedtime. An unpleasant side effect of taking too big a dose is possibly explosive diarrhea, so be careful!

Bottom line, sleep can fix a lot of things. try and get your fair share. Then you'll be as cool as the other side of the pillow. 

General warm-up
200m run or row
15 squat jumps min 1 foot
10 ball slams M:20 F:12
5 squat test

2k Row

5/3/1 Week 5 Back squat (10lbs are automatically added to previous weights)
Specific warm up
5x 40%
5x 50%
3x 60% 
Work sets
5x 65%
5x 75%
5+ 85%
2k Row

Michael Reynolds

CrossFit Level 1 Coach