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Sleep – How important is it to those who exercise often!?!

The best training plans will not work if sleep and nutrition are neglected. Without adequate sleep (eight hours a night), there is not enough rest for muscle cell growth and repair. In fact, when you sleep, growth hormone is produced and protein synthesis in the muscles occurs if you eat foods with protein during the day. For adolescents especially, sleep is critical as growth can be impaired when quality and quantity of sleep is lacking.

Lack of sleep can also affect your mood and increase hormonal stress levels which will have a negative impact on performance. Now, one night of missed sleep is not going to have many negative affects on your performance, but several days in a row or a few weeks of interrupted sleep can lead to symptoms similar to over-training syndrome.

So now you know how important sleep is, but honestly sometimes its not that easy! We all know that a hot, milky drink and a warm bath are supposed to relax you before bed, but many of us still can’t slip into slumber. Here are some  expert natural natural tips…

 

Write down your to-do list!

Going over a to-do list in bed is a major cause of insomnia. Often it’s because you’re frightened of forgetting what needs doing. So before bed, write your list on paper so you can forget it until next day. You could also imagine filing your thoughts in a cabinet. You’ll be calmer and more likely to sleep.

 

Inhale left!

This yoga method is thought to reduce blood pressure and calms you. Many holistic sleep therapists advice: “Lie on your left side, resting a finger on your right nostril to close it. Start slow, deep breathing in the left nostril.”

 

Squeeeeeeze it!

Relaxing all your muscles can prepare your body for sleep. Lying on your back, take a deep, slow breath in through your nose and, at the same time, squeeze your toes tightly as if you are trying to curl them under your foot, then release the squeeze. The next step is: curl your foot up toward your knee, then release. Breathe again, contract your calf muscles, then your thighs, buttocks, belly, chest, arms, and so on until you have moved all the way up your body, squeezing and releasing the muscles one by one.When you have gone from head to toe, your breathing should be steady and you should feel ready for sleep.

 

Roll your eyes

Rolling your eyes simulates what you do naturally when you fall asleep and may help trigger the release of your sleepy hormone, melatonin.

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