5 Ways to Improve Your Quality of Sleep for Better Fitness Results

5 Ways to Improve Your Quality of Sleep for Better Fitness Results

Table of Contents

We’ve all heard it before. "Sticking to a sleep schedule is essential… blah-blah-blah."
 
It’s easier said than done, right? Oftentimes, our mind starts buzzing with worries right as we’re trying to get some sleep. In either case, not sleeping enough leaves us in a weakened state the next day, and our fitness is one of the first things to suffer.

How can you ensure a more relaxed state at bedtime to get the deep, restorative sleep your body needs? Or will you work out when your body and mind's energy levels are at 20% again? 

Breaking the cycle of sleeplessness and enhancing your fitness results IS possible. Read on to learn how.

Understanding What Sleep is & Why It Matters 

Sleep is not mere rest but rather a time when our brain functions systematically, changing the pattern of neuronal cells and regulating vital hormones, such as:
  • Cortisol — the stress response hormone
  • Estrogen and progesterone — hormones that play an instrumental role in the development and functioning of the human reproductive system in both sexes 
  • Insulin, leptin, and ghrelin — hormones responsible for regulating appetite, blood sugar levels, and converting food to energy 
  • Melatonin — the hormone that induces the feeling of “sleepiness” in response to darkness and affects our internal clock (circadian rhythm) 
  • Thyroid hormones — produced by the thyroid gland, triiodothyronine, and thyroxine are responsible for various bodily functions, such as muscle growth, metabolism, and even heart functions (stroke volume, cardiac output, etc.).
So, while sleep seems like a period of inactivity, it is anything but. The adequate production of so many chemical compounds that are essential for your quality of life depends on the timing, depth, and duration of sleep (especially cortisol and melatonin). 

Not having a solid schedule for rest means depriving your body of mechanisms that protect you from diseases, injuries, and mental health challenges. And, of course, neglecting sleep negatively affects your energy storing and usage processes; that, in turn, makes workouts less effective and postpones weight loss, muscle development, and recovery. 

In other words, sleep impacts a plethora of fitness goals, including but not limited to 
  • Maintaining high energy levels throughout the day, recovering healthily after rigorous workout routines 
  • Keeping appetite optimal, whether your goal is to increase or reduce caloric intake 
  • Enhancing metabolism

So, You Need Good Sleep... Here Is What Helps! 

Perhaps the demands of work and daily life have led you to neglect sleep, or maybe you struggle to unwind at night. If you’ve seen the consequences of this reflected in declining workout performance, don’t fret! There are simple changes you can implement today to improve the quality of your sleep and make it easier to accomplish your fitness goals.   You can combine the following practices to ensure long-lasting positive effects.

1. Optimize Your Meals (Choose Foods That Help With Sleep!) 

Food

There are plenty of general recommendations for those seeking to amplify their overall health and athletic performance, such as cutting out processed foods and eating whole foods like salads, vegetables, and lean protein. 

But you can also replace your usual healthy snacks with foods that help with relaxation and sleep, such as 
  • Cherries and natural cherry juice! Sweet and energizing, these natural treats have above-average concentrations of melatonin that are perfect for sleep schedule corrections. 
  • Kiwi and drinks with natural kiwi! Kiwis are not everyone's favorite since they can be a bit tart, but with ​​24 µg/g of melatonin and an arsenal of vitamins (over 100% DV of Vitamin C, for example), minerals, and antioxidants,  these fruits are the perfect natural supplement to a healthy diet. 
  • Fatty fish meals! Fish is not only high in protein but also vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Since these compounds influence the production of serotonin, participants of one randomized clinical trial who ate fatty fish three times a week saw declines in sleep latency (how long it takes to actually fall asleep) and reported better overall sleep quality and effectiveness.
  • Pistachios, cashews, and other nuts!  Nuts often get a bad rap because they are relatively high in calories, but their high protein and healthy fat content make them a satiating plant-based snack. The best part is that nuts can help you sleep, as they contain various vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids like tryptophan, which produce serotonin and melatonin. Consider adding a handful of raw or dry-roasted nuts a day.
These are just a few whole, diet-friendly foods that can help you settle into a better sleep pattern while aiding your general health. However,  remember to consult your doctor to determine if you have allergies.

2. No Naps — Nighttime Sleep Only!

Napping

Taking a nap may be necessary every now and then, but most often, it just breaks your day in half and disrupts your sleep schedule. Several clinical studies have even shown that napping is correlated with high blood pressure and declined cognitive health. So, please do not fall for polyphasic sleep myths that promote sporadic sleep schedules.  There are no noteworthy benefits, but several negative effects, of sleeping in intervals.  Simply sleeping 8-9 hours at night is optimal.

3. Take Showers/Baths 1-2 Hours Before Sleep

Baths

Ever felt sleepy after a warm bath? This is because showers and baths optimize your core temperature and act as a circadian sleep signal. In other words, a change in temperature tells your body it is time to go to bed.

4. Do Not Eat/Drink Anything Too Sweet Before Bed

Refined sugars

Foods and drinks high in refined sugars boost your dopamine levels almost immediately, maximizing your brain's cognitive functions. Given that all brain signals must change their pace during your sleep, eating a chocolate bar or drinking cola (even a diet one) is sentencing your brain to a night of intense work.

If you are going to eat before bed, high fat/high protein foods (a snack, not a meal) can help. A handful of almonds and a small bit of cheese can help you go to sleep – and stay asleep.

5. ORCA Relax— An Effective Solution for Relaxation Before Sleep

ORCA RELAX

Of course, there are plenty of “sleep aids” on the market these days. However, some products intended to improve sleep contain additives that may have adverse side effects or cause dependency. For those seeking a more gentle and natural approach to sleep aids, we have formulated Orca Relax— a soothing blend of CBD, CBN, and lavender oil that offers a state of serenity, signaling to your system that it is time to let your worries go and regain strength for the coming day.
 
Note: These fast-acting pills do not affect your sleep directly but rather help your mind and body relax with their calming blend of 100% natural plant extracts. The components…
  • Suppress the brain's arousal system (namely, a microdose of CBN does this), allowing you to settle into a calm state 
  • Alter the brain's response to serotonin,  letting you rest without worries 
  • Promote calmness with natural lavender's effects: reducing high blood pressure, the intensity of pain, and inflammation
This supplement comes in a reusable tin that is compact enough to fit into your duffle, pocket, or nightstand. We recommend taking one pill 2-3 hours before sleep to be in a 100% relaxed and calm state before dozing off.

Final Words 

We hope this blog inspired you with some practical tips to turn your sleep habits around. However, please note that if you believe you suffer from insomnia, you should consult your doctor.

Best of luck, and may your new energy level let you conquer new heights in fitness and sports! Until next time, happy exploring, and mind your mind. 

FDA DisclaimerThe statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.

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