A lot of research shows the performance benefits of sleep and has been stated by Dr. Matthew Walker that its the single most powerful performance enhancement that athletes aren’t utilising.
#1 get a sleep study done. Most weight trained males would develop or have mild to moderate sleep apnea especially if your high musculature. Doctors will say that mild sleep apnea is fine but is NOT for ‘performance’ and our only suggesting to use a CPAP machine. Other treatments are available but aren’t as effective but can be trialed first.
Track your sleep
#2 Measure your sleep. There are a lot of apps you can use to measure sleep. From this you can develop a sleep ritual or program. This will also be helpful what interventions improve your sleep. This isn’t to be replaced by a sleep study
Tips to improve performance.
- Improve you Sleep Hygiene
- Treat any Apnea. CPAP is your best option
- Track your sleep. There are a lot of apps you can use to measure sleep. From this you can develop a sleep ritual or program.
- Exercise daily will improve sleep.
- Studies show athletes require 9-10 hours of sleep and maybe a nap to maximise recovery and performance. You can tell how much you need depending if you can wake up naturally before your alarm and you can adjust from there.
- Be in bed before 11pm. Work with a 10-11pm bed 6-7am wake up. If you need more sleep go to bed earlier not sleep in.
- Don’t train 3-4 hours before bed. Ideally, don’t train 6 hours before bed.
- Eat an hour or 2 before bed. Don’t go to bed hungry. Ensure you have protein and carbohydrates as it helps with melatonin and serotonin production and prevents the brain for signalling hunger and stress.
- Cool the room to <21 degrees.
- Obsessively block all light including standby light and use blackout curtains.
- No work, TV, study, reading anything in bed. Treat the bed room as a sacred place for sleep.
- Sleep in separate rooms to partner if need to but always from children and pets.
- If you have exposer to blue light or electronics close to bed. Use blue light blockers to reduce blue light entering the eye which prevent the production of melatonin and delays sleep need.
- Stop using electronics 30-60 mins before bed
- Make sure your teeth are brush 60+ mins before planned bed time
- Reduce the light in your house once the sun is down by at least 50% and take it down to candle light or very dim warm light as the need for light reduces.
- Have a hot bath or shower 1-2 hours before bed. Has showing to reduce the time it takes to sleep and increases how long someone can sleep. It decrease the core body temperature which helps signal the release of melatonin
- Take a 20 min nap before training if you train late or 2 hours after training
- Use earplug if you wake with noise
- Don’t take stimulants like caffeine, nicotine or drink too many fluids too close to bedtime.
- Take Vit D3 If blood levels are low. 100+ ng/dL is the optimal range.
- If you have irregular bed time due to things outside your control weather you have to go to bed earlier or later use 2mg melatonin supplement 2 hours before bed. Do not take every night only when sleep patterns change. No research suggest that melatonin helps to take regularly but if you feel it does then placebo is a powerful thing.
- Melatonin help mostly with jet lag and can help reset your circadian.
- Sleeping pills don’t improve sleep, they just sedate you. You lose a lot of your stage 3, stage 4 and REM sleep
- Creatine Monohydrate has shown some promise with helping sleep but not conclusive at this stage.
- Improving magnesium status is associated with better quality sleep, Mimics the action of melatonin.
- Vitamin 12 normalises circadian rhythms.
- Folate & Vitamin B6 both are cofactor for several neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin and dopamine, many of which regulate hormones
- Vitamin B3 increase REM sleep. Improves both quality and quantity of sleep by converting tryptophan to serotonin.
- Any nutrients suggested should be achieve through food first. Supplements should not be taken unless advised by your coach or doctor ideally with a blood test.
From my article https://www.liftersleague.com.au/recovery/sleep-hack