I didn’t really focus on my first ever client’s sleep to be honest, well not outside of telling to “try to get enough sleep” so they’d have more energy to train with me.
I had the perfect training and nutritional plan all lined up for them but NOTHING on sleep, other lifestyle factors or general habits – even though I was training them between 6-7 am 3 days a week.
Now, it’s not too say that you can’t get results with poor sleeping habits – trust me I’ve worked with MANY CEO’s and partners, but the results are RARELY anywhere close to optimal. And, optimal is what we ALL should be striving towards.
By the way, the first client that I mentioned lost 10lbs (4.5kg) in 8 weeks with me – but I do always wonder whether we could have lost more if I’d address her sleeping habits?
Luckily, I realised I was missing something after moving my sessions with one of my clients to his home instead of the gym – giving him an extra hour in bed. This small adjustment not only allowed us to progress with his fat-loss results but we stopped seeing the plateaus we’d usually see after his long trips away. Trips which usually meant a new time-zone and even less sleep than usual do to the time-different and meetings.
This then lead me to begin researching the importance of sleep where I then began to learn just how crucial sleep is for our hormones, adrenals, decision-making, muscle-building and…. fat-loss!
Sleep is free, natural, and requires little effort and so I assumed this would make it seem simpler to implement with other clients, compared to dietary and training changes anyway, which are learned behaviours and often require re/education. But it wasn’t that simple! So many clients still failed to get enough sleep.
The reason? Our underlying belief that we can more do that we actually can. Sleep tends to be the first thing we sacrifice; trying to increase our productivity (staying up late), fitting in our social commitments (late dinners and early breakfasts), and even when we’re striving towards improving our health and fitness (cutting it short for our early morning workouts).
Which is why I simply started looking for the minimum effective dose with EVERYTHING I was asking of my clients. And, sleep seems to be around 3-4 earlier nights a week with improved sleep hygiene habits.
There are so many things we can do to try and improve the quality and quantity of our sleep, but these are my non-negotiables:
1. 3 earlier night a week (60-90minutes)
2. Water first thing in the morning
3. Daylight asap when you wake up
4. Manage caffeine and alcohol intake
5. Minimise electronics 60 minutes before bed
6. Turn your phone to Airplane Mode 30-mins before bed
Do you have a bed- or morning-routine to help you get the best out of your shut-eye? Leave me a comment below!
JC and The Nutri-Team