Back in the day before I became involved in the fitness industry I was a panel beater and I was an absolute carb monster
In fact I was pretty much an undiagnosed sugar-o-holic too
I used to regularly scoff numerous cakes, pies, sausage rolls, crisps, chocolate bars, sandwiches but I was good too as I always had fruit as well 🙂
Not really convinced now that the fruit balanced out all that crap though
Now back then I didn’t know what I now know about nutrition
Neither did I understand why I craved the foods I ate
I was convinced that my daily diet was in fact good for me
What I needed
I have to admit I must have had some metabolism back then as with what I was eating I could’ve easily turned out to have added a few more inches to my waistline
I guess the hours spent at the gym and pounding the streets for miles at a time 2-3 times a week must’ve helped to keep me in balance though
But why did I feel I needed such a high calorie diet though?
I mean it wasn’t just my lunch that was bad
As my day always started with what I then thought was a healthy bowl of sugar laced muesli or granola drenched in that ‘super calcium provider’ that is milk
The reason I required such a calorie load was simple
Poor quality sleep
Yep, that’s it
You see back in the day I would be up to nearly midnight doing mindless crap like Facebook chat and MSN and watching whatever shit the tv had on offer for me
I would then be up by 6am giving me less than 6 hours every night
So my poor sleep was making me crave carbs in order to keep me going through the day
Not that they achieved it though as I suffered from a mid afternoon slump and reached for my habitual 4pm chocolate bar snack!
Shocking isn’t it!
Well a lack of sleep leads to a hormonal imbalance and increases in ghrelin (a hormone that signals to your brain that you are hungry) and possibly even decreases in leptin (a hormone that signals to your brain that you are full) which in turn leads to you eating too many calories.
So the question is, does this sound like you too?
If it does then you really need to read on as what I’m about to tell you will totally blow your mind!
And not only that but what you will learn through reading this email will improve your sleep but it will also cut your carb cravings and teach you how easy it is to curb those mid afternoon slumps too!
After all it worked for me and I know it’s going to work just as well for you too!
Well that is providing you follow these 10 scientifically tested and proven steps anyway
Try to limit your exposure to EMF’s (Electro Magnetic Fields) whilst you sleep. This means unplugging all electrical appliances and lights including TV’s, clocks, lamps, mobile phones etc. And you should try to always avoid the use of electric blankets. EMF’s can negatively effect sleep and overall health. If after doing this your sleep quality improves then do all you can to rearrange your room to keep all electrical appliances as far from you as possible as you sleep.
Go dark to go deep
When it comes to putting your head on the pillow and finally getting some shut eye you should do so in complete darkness, or as close to as possible. Even the smallest amount of light emitted from a street lamp, alarm clock or the stand-by light on a tv can interfere with sleep. You see our natural body rhythms are in tune with nature and we are tuned (just like our caveman ancestors) to rise and sleep with the rise and fall of the sun. Light, even that that is artificial can prompt our bodies to start producing hormones that encourage us to wake so for a perfect nights sleep total darkness, something that many of us have never truly experienced is needed. If you simply cannot escape the light where you sleep then maybe you should invest in a sleep mask?
Dim the lights
At least 2 hours before bed, minimise your exposure to bright lights, particularly fluorescent lights. If you have a dimmer switch then use that, if not then try using candles and lamps with low wattage bulbs. Dimming the lights helps to naturally produce the hormone melatonin that controls our sleep cycles. When light is present it interferes with this vital hormone production effecting sleep patterns, but not only that it has also been shown to increase the risk of cancer, impair immune system function, and possibly lead to such conditions as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and heart disease.
Turn off stimulation
Turn off all ‘stimulating’ appliances at least an hour before bed, this means mobile phones, TV’s, and computers as these can help to make it harder to unwind causing you to take longer to fall to sleep. Avoid watching anything like the news as its all doom and gloom or high octane action films/dramas as they can stimulate the fight or flight response keeping you awake.
Take a brain dump
Haha, sounds a bit quirky right? But taking a brain dump before bed and writing everything down can take the weight of things off your mind leaving your brain free of unwanted stimulation so you are not rolling around in bed with it all going through your mind.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day
The body is a fine tuned machine and when fluid levels drop as little as just 2% you can start experiencing symptoms of dehydration. when dehydrated the body responds as though it is experiencing stress and when this happens
the body begins to produce stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline that are awakening hormones.
As we all know exercise promotes better sleep. But what you may not know is that the type and timing of exercise can actually disrupt sleeping patterns. Training after dinner or late evening, especially intense or aerobic type activities that are of 30 minutes or more can increase cortisol (the stress hormone) making it harder to sleep.
Have a cuppa
Around and hour before bed it is advised to drink a cup of tulsi tea. Tulsi, or more commonly known a, Holy Basil has relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties that can help you to achieve the best nights sleep ever! Tulsi tea can be drank throughout the day, though due to its relaxing properties it is best advised to be drunk after 4pm as I’m sure your boss won’t want you taking your foot off the pedal too soon in the day 🙂
About an hour before bed take 400-600mg of magnesium and 30-45mg of zinc to improve your quality of sleep. Magnesium is a natural relaxant and both zinc and magnesium aid in recovery that is overseen as you sleep.
Note: when taking magnesium and zinc supplements it is advised to start with smaller doses and gradually increase. And when purchasing always go for the ‘ate’ options such as citrate, aspartate or malate over the much cheaper ‘oxide’ options as they are a waste of your money as your body will not absorb them.
Heat it up
Take a hot bath or shower before bed. The heat from doing so will help alleviate pain and will also help to relax tense or overworked muscles. Taking a bath in Epsom salts will only. help to increase your level of relaxation.
Free your mind
Take time to be still and free your mind, a great way to do this is to meditate.
Get an early night
Just as our Mum’s have always told us, getting an early night will do you wonders. Going to bed 5 times out of 7 at 10-10.30pm will see you have improved sleep and recovery, you will also see huge improvements in morning rising too. All this is due to 2 main reasons. Firstly, getting an early night will help reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels so your body can concentrate on recovery and repair, as when cortisol is present it inhibits the maintenance processes that are bodies go through as we sleep. Secondly the quality of sleep that you get before 1am is worth double that of any sleep you get afterwards.
So there you have it my friend, 12 proven ways to improve your quality of sleep, curb your carb cravings and making waking up that little bit easier, in fact by following these easy to implement steps you will literally be leaping out of bed after the best nights sleep you have ever had!
1, Drink plenty of water throughout the day
2, Exercise but keep it before late evening
3, Take a hot bath or shower
4, Have a cup of Tulsi
5, Take a brain dump
6, Dim the lights
7, Turn off all stimulation
8, Take your supplements
9, Take some time to free the mind, meditate or read
10, Unplug your appliances
11, Get an early night
12, Make the room as dark as possible
Get all these steps done and you will reap the benefits
Dedicated to you health and fitness
Simon ‘Sweet dreams’ Anderson
P.S another thing that aided in me curbing the carb monster is my ‘secret insurance policy’!
Lean Greens contains loads of nutrients that pretty much satisfy my mind and body, and don’t have a chemical urge to eat the crap anymore.
You should try it out, all you have to do is click HERE