Regularly getting enough sleep beats darn near any supplement.
If you can get even 30 to 60 minutes more sleep every night, a few areas that will improve:
• Fat loss
• Muscle gain
• Blood sugar
• Cognitive ability
• Insulin sensitivity
Shoot for at least 7 — and preferably 8 or even 9 — hours of sleep every night.
Now... "get more sleep" is an outcome. We can't control outcomes. We can only control what we do.
Thus, "sleep X hours" actually shouldn't be your goal. Instead, you want to create a set of actions that, when done consistently, lead you towards the outcome you want.
• Create a pre-bed sleep ritual
• Schedule workouts to promote evening relaxation
• Avoid high-intensity work too late in the evening
• Wind down in the evening with a relaxation habit
• Wind down in the evening with a mind-body scan type habit
• Wind down with a grateful log
• Get enough light and outdoor activity to regulate circadian rhythms
• Plan evening meals to facilitate sleep — e.g. getting some serotonin-stimulating carbohydrates, or keeping dinners smaller, etc.
• Track sleep quality and sleep habits in journals
• Vitamin D: Consider vitamin D testing and supplementation (or simply get some sunshine, which will help regulate circadian rhythms).
• Phosphatidylserine: 100mg an hour or so before bed. This is the proverbial “wired and tired” protocol. Those dealing with chronic stress and a disrupted diurnal cortisol rhythm.
• 5-HTP: 50 mg, 30–60 min before bed. Chronic stress can deplete the body’s tryptophan stores. (***if you are taking antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs, check with your pharmacist first***)
• Relora: Can relieve stress and calm neurological excitation. It may also help relieve stress-related eating.
• Uber-Inositol: One of my personal favorites.
• Magnesium: Helps relax and many women in particular are deficient.
• GABA: Take 500 mg, 30–60 min before bed.
• Melatonin: 3–5 mg, 30–60 min before bedtime (whenever that should be).
• Avoid low carb: Carbs are a precursor to serotonin and aid in sleep.
• Cut caffeine: Try to cut off coffee past noon (or within 8–9 hours of bedtime)
• Cut alcohol: Excessive alcohol prior to bedtime can disrupt sleep patterns, preventing sleep from getting into the deep and restorative phases.
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