Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat

Ep 178: Sleep Science - Doing THIS in the Bedroom is Killing Your Fat Loss, Gains, Hormones, & Metabolism

June 04, 2024 Philip Pape, Nutrition Coach & Physique Engineer Episode 178
Ep 178: Sleep Science - Doing THIS in the Bedroom is Killing Your Fat Loss, Gains, Hormones, & Metabolism
Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
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Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
Ep 178: Sleep Science - Doing THIS in the Bedroom is Killing Your Fat Loss, Gains, Hormones, & Metabolism
Jun 04, 2024 Episode 178
Philip Pape, Nutrition Coach & Physique Engineer

There is one thing you're doing in the bedroom that might be compromising your gains and your health.

No, not that. Or that. Not that either. It's...your sleep routine!

Do you really need 7-9 hours of sleep? Can you compensate for poor sleep with diet or exercise? What if you could turbocharge your metabolism, balance your hormones, and redefine your body composition with some tweaks to your sleep habits?

Today, Philip (@witsandweights) tackles the often neglected aspect of health and fitness - sleep. He goes beyond the usual advice of “get 7-9 hours of sleep” and explores the significant impact of sleep on your body composition, fat loss, and muscle gain. Is it possible to compensate for poor sleep with diet or exercise? How significant is sleep compared to nutrition and exercise? He answers these questions and more, offering valuable insights for busy, ambitious individuals like you seeking to improve sleep quality and quantity. As a bonus, you can access a free guide, “Better Sleep, Better Body,” packed with evidence-based strategies and practical tips to optimize sleep habits for improved metabolism, hormones, and body composition.

Today, you’ll learn all about:

3:51 The science of sleep
6:10 The connection between sleep and fat loss
11:26 Sleep and muscle gain
16:37 Sleep’s effect on overall health
24:48 7 practical tips to improve sleep quality and quantity
40:06 Outro

Episode resources:

📲 Send me a text message!

Support the Show.


🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

🤩 Love the podcast? Leave a 5-star review

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

There is one thing you're doing in the bedroom that might be compromising your gains and your health.

No, not that. Or that. Not that either. It's...your sleep routine!

Do you really need 7-9 hours of sleep? Can you compensate for poor sleep with diet or exercise? What if you could turbocharge your metabolism, balance your hormones, and redefine your body composition with some tweaks to your sleep habits?

Today, Philip (@witsandweights) tackles the often neglected aspect of health and fitness - sleep. He goes beyond the usual advice of “get 7-9 hours of sleep” and explores the significant impact of sleep on your body composition, fat loss, and muscle gain. Is it possible to compensate for poor sleep with diet or exercise? How significant is sleep compared to nutrition and exercise? He answers these questions and more, offering valuable insights for busy, ambitious individuals like you seeking to improve sleep quality and quantity. As a bonus, you can access a free guide, “Better Sleep, Better Body,” packed with evidence-based strategies and practical tips to optimize sleep habits for improved metabolism, hormones, and body composition.

Today, you’ll learn all about:

3:51 The science of sleep
6:10 The connection between sleep and fat loss
11:26 Sleep and muscle gain
16:37 Sleep’s effect on overall health
24:48 7 practical tips to improve sleep quality and quantity
40:06 Outro

Episode resources:

📲 Send me a text message!

Support the Show.


🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

🤩 Love the podcast? Leave a 5-star review

📞 Send a Q&A voicemail

Philip Pape:

If you're battling away trying to lose fat, build muscle or optimize your hormones and metabolism, and it's just not working for you. Despite seemingly doing everything right, you might be overlooking one crucial factor, and it lies in our innermost Sanctum the bedroom. In this episode I reveal what you're doing in the bedroom that could be sabotaging your fitness goals, and how some simple but surprising tweaks can unlock your body's full potential without changing how you eat or workout. Welcome to the wit's end weights podcast. I'm your host, Philip pape, and this twice a week podcast is dedicated to helping you achieve physical self mastery by getting stronger. Optimizing your nutrition and upgrading your body composition will uncover science backed strategies for movement, metabolism, muscle and mindset with a skeptical eye on the fitness industry so you can look and feel your absolute best. Let's dive right in Whitson weights community Welcome to another solo episode of The Whitson weights podcast. In our last episode 177 How anatomy impacts your gut muscle mass hormones and health with Justin Caudill, Justin shared some pretty fascinating information about anatomy and how our digestive system can lead to better nutrient absorption and overall health, and also how our bodies physically adapt to training, we explored the impacts of anatomical knowledge on your personal health and fitness strategies to optimize your nutrition and training. Today for episode 178. Doing this in the bedroom is killing your fat loss, muscle growth hormones and metabolism, we're tackling a crucial but often overlooked aspect of your health and fitness journey. Something you do in the bedroom, probably every single night. Adults do it, kids do it. And it's not just on the Discovery Channel. That's right, I'm talking about sleep. It is not a sexy topic, in most circumstances, but it is extremely important. And you've probably heard most of the generic sleep tips like get seven or nine hours or you've heard claims about sleep hacks that will transform your life do this one thing and you're gonna get massively improved sleep. But I want to go beyond those cliches, even though we're going to have some probably common recommendations here as well as some surprising ones. And we want to explore the evidence on how sleep impacts your physique, your body composition, and the goals that you have for those, including especially their impact on Fat Loss and Muscle Gain both sides of the equation, because the question is always can we out train or can we out diet poor sleep? Right? Some people think, Hey, I'm just a five hour guy type of person, no big deal. But is that true? How much does sleep really move the needle compared to nutrition and training? You know what strategies actually work to improve sleep quality and quantity but especially quality for you know, busy, ambitious people like you listen to the show that may not have a lot of time, you're trying to get a lot done, and you still want to get the quality z's. And we're still going to answer some of these and get into some more side topics throughout this conversation, conversation of one but conversation with you my dear listener. So before we dive in, I've put together what else a totally free guide called better sleep better body that has all of the choice cuts from today's episode, simply head over to Whitson weights.com/free or click the link in the show notes. And by the way, if you go to Whitson weights comm slash free, you're gonna see a ton of guides now. So if you missed some in the past, go check that out. Because even if you don't want the one on sleep, there are plenty others there to check out. Now inside the better sleep better body guide, you're going to find the evidence based strategies and specific lists of tips to optimize sleep habits for improved quality, where it most optimally impacts your metabolism, your hormones, your body composition. Alright, so download the better sleep better body guide at the link in the show notes or head over to Whitson weights.com/free Alright, let's get into today's topic doing this in the bedroom. And you know what it is now is killing your fat loss muscle growth hormones and metabolism. Starting with the science of sleep right before we get into the impact of it, we have to understand what's actually happening in your body when you sleep. So when you sleep you're cycling between two main stages rem and non REM REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement. And of course non REM is everything else. And non REM is further divided into three sub stages. And non REM takes up about 75 to 80% of your total sleep time. And then in the deepest non REM stages. That is when your body releases anabolic hormones like growth hormone and testosterone that we love for muscle protein synthesis and recovery from training. So right off the bat, I want to make that connection in your head that the body needs to get to these deeper quality phases for a long enough time to really trigger a lot of that recovery that you get between your training bouts. This is huge. This is huge. Now your body also does a lot of other restorative assesses during non REM, like clearing out your metabolic waste products from the brain. Now the other 20 to 25% of sleep is REM. And this is what we know is the vivid dream state right? Rem is important for learning for consolidating your memories, emotional regulation. And then over the course of the night, you're gonna cycle through both of these through the non rem and the REM, multiple times. And non REM is going to dominate the first half of the night and REM ramps up in the second half. And again, we can see why duration and quantity is also important. And for some of you who have an aura ring like I do, you can get all geeky about this and actually see which phases you're in throughout the night pretty good at detecting that, based on a wide variety of factors. One of those I think is is heart rate. And another might be body temperature, HRV, things like that. But regardless whether you track it or not, it's the the lifestyle actions that improve it that we care about. So both of those stages, Rem and non REM are definitely essential together for waking up feeling refreshed, right, mentally refreshed, and physically refreshed. And already you can see how sleep deprivation could undermine your effort by impairing things like muscle recovery and growth and cognitive function. So they're all important. And now we're going to take a little bit closer look at the fat loss side of the equation, right? I know a lot of you are working toward losing fat. You're wondering how sleep fits into that equation, you hear me talk about it a lot. And the connection between sleep and weight. And fat loss is very robust at this point. I can't bring someone on the show and talk about sleep without getting into some study that supports this. You know, studies show that sleeping less than seven hours per night is associated with higher BMI, higher obesity rates in controlled trials where they restrict sleep. People consistently gain weight over a few weeks when their sleep is restricted. And you might be thinking, Well, what isn't it just about calories? Well, it is but sleep is affecting your ability to burn calories and burn fat. So let's talk about that. So we understand what's happening. Because a lack of sleep is like the worst perfect storm of metabolic and hormonal disruption you can imagine of almost all the things you can do besides chronic stress, but they tend to go hand in hand, right? So one thing that a lack of sleep does it dis regulate your appetite hormones, it increases gralen which simulates stimulates hunger, and it decreases leptin, which helps you feel full. So it's both in the wrong direction. And so the result is you feel hungrier, you want to snack more, you have more cravings. And we've seen in studies people consume around 300 to 500 extra calories per day, when sleep deprived and when they're not, you know, tracking or deliberately trying to control calories, just eating intuitively, what they call ad libitum. Just whatever you want to eat, they tend to eat quite a bit more. And that's a lot, right, that's like an extra pound a week. Lack of sleep also impairs glucose metabolism, and insulin sensitivity, right. And so that means potentially say more of the carbs you eat gets stored as fat rather than going toward muscle. So it affects body composition. It also spikes cortisol, the stress hormone, we know that a lack of sleep simply disrupts your circadian rhythm. And that further encourages fat storage, especially around the midsection. So belly fat belly fat belly fat, big thing here. Besides alcohol sleep is probably the other huge disrupter. And what causes you to store around the midsection because of that cortisol spike and your body wanting to hoard energy reserves. In that area. It also a lack of sleep tanks, your testosterone by up to 10 to 15%. And since testosterone, as we know, helps maintain muscle mass and keeps body fat in check. This is like a double whammy. And then lastly it increases inflammatory markers inflammation and emerging research shows that this can be an independent risk factor, of course for weight gain over time, so nothing good from lacking sleep or sleep quality. And I mentioned that you know on top of the biological or the physiological challenges that come from it, the deprivation in sleep just makes it harder to control food cravings, and then make the choices you want to make. Right? It ramps up things like emotional eating, it diminishes your willpower, you might reach for some quick energy because you need it because of the lack of sleep. So you're gonna go for high sugar, high fat type types of foods, right processed foods, you're more likely to overeat in the evening and then that can disrupt your sleep further. Now you've got this vicious cycle, you might drink more caffeine and drink it more later in the day because you feel lack of energy. Do you see where this is all going? Now these are short term changes, and they don't guarantee that you're not gonna be able to lose weight long term or fat or, or that you're going to gain weight. Long term if you're doing other things, but they make it a lot harder they stack the deck against you. They make fat loss feel harder than it needs to be. One study found that when dieters got a full night's sleep, more than half the weight they lost was fat when they cut back to restricted time, which about five and a half hours per night. Fat Loss dropped by 55% They lost more lean mass. And there was a recent review in Dr. Bill Campbell's research review about some I'm not sure if I don't think it was the same study. But it's the same kind of result, body composition worsens when you don't get enough sleep. You know, other studies have shown higher protein intake is less protective against muscle loss during a deficit if you don't have as much sleep. So, ladies and gentlemen, you're just hurting yourself and making it a lot harder. This is why I titled the episode what I did this thing in the bedroom, a lack of sleep is killing all of these things. So the takeaway here, which is a good thing to know, because then it gives us the power back it gives us the control is that skimping on sleep erodes the effectiveness of the other things you're doing, especially your diet. And no matter how much you want to calorie cut, and make these food choices and apply willpower, it's not going to fully compensate for your body's fighting against you like this. And so what do we need to do? Well, I at minimum, there's a quantity aspect, right? We talked about the seven and nine hours of sleep, there's a validity to that range. So if you can get eight, you get nine, especially during aggressive dieting phases, aggressive fat loss phase, you're going to buffer some of the metabolic adaptations going on. You can't stop metabolic adaptation, but you can avoid making it worse by losing sleep, right? It's a non negotiable if you want not only success with your fat loss, but to make it feel easier and to make it more sustainable over the long term. So that's sleeping fat loss, it's pretty clear. Just wanted to reiterate those things for you. Let's talk about sleep and muscle gain, right? Because we have a lot of dedicated lifters in the audience, and you're working hard to build your strength and muscle, you know, you're going to the gym consistently 3456 days a week, you're crushing it, you're eating, you're in a surplus. But are you recovering enough? And you might think, well, if I'm eating all this food, do I really even need as much sleep? Yes, the science suggests that sleep is just as vital for muscle growth during a gaining phase as your training and nutrition, which is something I've had to get my arms around as well, because you would think, Okay, I'm not working against myself on the dieting department, I've got plenty of energy coming in. So is sleep really as important? Well, do you remember those anabolic hormones I mentioned that surge during deep sleep, growth hormone increases by up to 400% compared to waking levels, IGF one, testosterone, prolactin, they all rise during deep, again, deep sleep, not just sleep in general, you have to get to that deep state of sleep. And of course, these hormones, we pretty much know that they're tied to muscle protein synthesis to satellite cell proliferation, right drivers of hypertrophy, drivers of muscle mass. And then on the flip side, if you just don't have enough sleep, you're going to tank those things, you're going to tank, your testosterone and your growth hormone. And there's been research on athletes that show when participants are sleep deprived. Again, we're talking like five and a half, five, even four and a half hours of sleep is usually where they study these things, their gains in muscle and strength drop compared to people getting a full eight hours of sleep, even when they're consuming plenty of protein. And it's probably due to this impaired anabolic signaling. So we could see that the detriment on both sides of the equation, we see that it both makes fat loss harder, but it also makes muscle growth harder. Alright, now there's another aspect of sleep that I think is important to mention. And that is skill acquisition and performance. If you're doing a sport, a technical sport, or let's just be honest, having your brains your wits, right, if your wits about you doing anything, including just lifting weights, you know, you want to be able to focus and use proper form and apply and learn that skill and grow. And then you want to be on for the rest of the day. You don't want to be just tanking later on in the day. And there have been studies on athletes like tennis players, rowers, lifters, that find that when they can extend their sleep, even if it's through napping, it boosts their reaction time, their accuracy, their speed, their power. There was an experiment in 2007 Corman at all. And it had volunteers practice a thumb movement task and half of them stayed awake afterward after the task, and the other half took a 90 minute nap. And then when they were retested That evening, the people who napped perform 18% faster and maintain their accuracy. And those who are sleep deprived saw significant decline in speed and accuracy. So this is motor memory, right? This is the neurological patterns that are formed while we're practicing a skill, which is something we do during lifting as well. And sleep helps that. And scientists believe that during REM sleep, your brain replays the neural activity from practicing the new skill. It's kind of like you know, when you sleep on it, and you all of a sudden have a bright idea immediately the next day like a problem that you have difficulty solving the day before becomes easier all of a sudden, now that you've slept on it. Well, if you lifted, let's say a brand new movement, you did a new type of squat and you go to sleep and now you get enough deep REM sleep or you get the REM sleep. Your brain gets to You continue to wire and play that pattern that you just did that movement pattern. And then the connections, the neural connections in your brain are stronger. And then overnight, those memories are transferred from short term storage in the hippocampus, to long term storage in the cortex in something called systems consolidation. So cool like this is when we talk about neuromuscular adaptation and muscle memory. This is the biology behind it. I think it's fascinating. I hope I'm not putting you to sleep. Ha, ha. All right. So the application to strength training are obvious. I hope I made them obvious, right? If you want to lock in the movement patterns and the mind muscle connection from your workouts, getting sufficient REM sleep is key. If you don't, you're not just compromising muscle growth, but you're probably compromising your technique and strength gains, and then your form and potentially increasing your chance of injury. So it's not just that you're tired and sluggish. And that's why you failed to perform. It's also that your brain just doesn't have the cognitive energy that it needs from the sleep. So if you want to build muscle, listen to me, if you want to get strong build muscle perform in the gym actually make gains, and you're finding you're not, are you simply not getting enough sleep are you getting, you know, six hours of sleep every night instead of seven or eight, are not getting that quality sleep. You know, don't be afraid to sneak in naps. If you want to get some more recovering performance naps can work for a lot of people. Some people don't like them, some people don't respond, or some people get more tired when they nap. But it's definitely a lever that you can pull. Right. And again, you're not gonna you're not going to suffer from a couple of nights of disrupted sleep, we're talking about chronic sleep debt, just think about your like always behind on sleep, and then that's going to stop all of these processes. So we've talked about fat loss, we've talked about muscle gain, I want to talk about sleep and health overall. Right? This sends me again, the less sexy topic but it's critically important in many of many of you listening are in the older crowd, right? I'm in my 40s, many of you listening are at least in your 30s 40s and beyond. And health becomes more and more important and is tied into all of this. Because even the most impressive physique is worthless if you don't have the health. And if you don't have the vitality, and the longevity to enjoy it. Right. And sleep is massive in this area. For for both acute functioning, you know day to day, but also long term health. So let's look at the short and long term in the short term. A single night of poor sleep can tank your mood, it can demotivate you, right you just have less motivation. It can increase your feelings of stress of anxiety, of irritability, it impairs your focus, it impairs your productivity, your decision making. It induces a state of almost like having a beer or two like a mild state of intoxication when you don't have enough sleep. You know what I'm talking about? You know what it's like you're hungover and you didn't have anything to drink? Well, what is going on? You know, it suppresses your immune system, oh, we know this, like when you're sick, you've got to get your rest well, similarly, when you're not sick, and you don't get enough sleep, you open up yourself to viruses dramatically, this is a biological thing that actually happens. It increases perceptions of pain, it increases symptoms of chronic conditions that you might have just just the sky's the limit on that right autoimmune conditions, you might have anything that gives you certain symptoms, it might increase those and I know how this is I've got like a torn labrum in my hip. I've had it for quite a few years. And if I sit too long, it'll activate it. And if I'm tired, it'll feel worse, right? If I'm not training, or if I'm tired, it's gonna feel worse. And you probably have something like that where we don't get enough sleep, you feel it in other areas. Lack of one night of sleep can disrupt your hunger hormone. So remember that we talked about with the fat loss section, it happens immediately it disrupts your hunger hormones, leptin and ghrelin. And then you can get cravings you start over eat, even in one day. Now, one day is not going to throw off your your plans, of course, but just know that that can be a result of it. And when you have a particularly difficult week, where you feel like you've succumb to cravings, for example, evaluate the biofeedback and other factors that are associated with that. Like, did you simply lose out on your normal quality sleep? Or are you more stressed things like that, and then a lack of sleep in one day can spike your blood pressure and it can actually throw off your blood sugar control just a bit. And we know these things. Now, that's just one night. Now let's string these together. You get some chronic sleep deprivation, you know, multiple nights of insufficient sleep, and everything gets compounded. The cognitive performance deteriorates, right. Some studies show that a few weeks in a row of like six hours a night reduces performance to the same level, as is if you had 48 straight hours of no sleep. Right? And I honestly personally I can attest to that. I've had situations where several nights in a row I just had poor sleep. I don't think I've gone two weeks with less than six hours. But I've definitely gone several days with like five and a half hours of sleep. And it just really builds and you just constantly feel like you're behind. It's not good. Also, this is really important. Okay, risk of heart attack and stroke go up when you're chronically sleep deprived. One study found that five hours a night increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by 200 to 300%, compared to seven hours, markers of systemic inflammation increase, and that's a known risk factor for chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's, and even vaccine effectiveness diminishes, where people who have sleep deprivation produce fewer antibodies from a vaccine they got so if you do the flu vaccine every year, but you don't get enough sleep, that could actually reduce the effectiveness of it. Fascinating stuff. Okay, some of this I'm surprised by as I researched for this, this episode. Now, perhaps most disturbing of all of this is evidence that shows chronic sleep deprivation literally speeds up aging at the basic biological level at with telomeres. Now, I know there's mixed, there's some quackery out there when it comes to longevity research. And we talked about telomeres. Telomeres are those protective caps on the ends of your DNA. And they shorten as you age, and apparently they shortened more quickly, and people who consistently get less sleep, and it's dose dependent, which can then potentially reduce your life expectancy. All right, just take that with a grain of salt. It's not like you needed to know that fact, to worry you yet again. We know sleep deprivation is just not good all around. Hey, this is Philip and I hope you're enjoying this episode of Whitson weights. I started with some weights to help ambitious individuals in their 30s 40s and beyond, who want to build muscle lose fat and finally look like they lift. I noticed that when people transform their physique, they not only look and feel better, but they also experience incredible changes in their health, confidence and overall quality of life. If you're listening to this podcast, I assume you want the same thing to build your ultimate physique and unlock your full potential whether you're just starting out or looking to take your progress to the next level. That's why I created wit's end weights physique University, a semi private group coaching experience designed to help you achieve your best physique ever, with a personalized done for you nutrition plan, custom designed courses, new workout programs each month, live coaching calls, and the supportive community, you'll have access to everything you need to succeed. If you're ready to shatter your plateaus and transform your body and life, head over to Whitson weights.com/physique or click the link in the show notes to enroll today. Again, that's Whitson weights.com/physique. I can't wait to welcome you to the community and help you become the strongest leanest and healthiest version of yourself. Now back to the show. Now, I alluded at the very beginning of that episode to people who are like, Yeah, I'm fine. I'm five to six hours of sleep, and I'm a low quantity sleeper, right? I've said that about myself, like I can get by fine in five to six hours. And I don't need more than that. But first one thing I want to say about that is how you feel isn't necessarily the best barometer for health and functioning. And I mean that as in like, a general, okay, I'm fine. Because we are, we're really good. We're frighteningly good at adapting to chronic stress to chronic sleep loss to bad things that are life, we're just good at adapting to them. We're resilient as human beings, and then we don't perceive how impaired we are by relative comparison. Meaning if you all of a sudden, did get more sleep and did have less stress, you probably would find you feel so much better. Right? That's that's the key. And I see this for hormones as well, where women or men even, you know, feel a certain way. And they're like, Yeah, I'm fine. And then all of a sudden, we resolve some underlying issue. You know, we start strength training, eating more food and walking more, and all of a sudden, you feel great. And you're like, what happened? Well, it's because I regulate my hormones. Alright, so one more thing about that is that people in research settings who insist that they've like acclimated to shorter sleep, they perform equally as poorly on cognitive tests, as people who admit they're exhausted. So there's a massive perception that what do you call it? gap here, so don't assume that you're okay, just because you quote unquote, feel okay, when you probably would actually feel much better and perform better with more sleep. So if you short yourself on sleep, it's like, doing a minimum effective dose, not No, it's not a minimum minimum effective dose, it's like making minimum payments on your debt, right? Like, the interest is growing, and you're going to owe more and more, and it's going to catch up with you eventually, even if you can kind of skate by in the short term. And how that debt gets repaid, is with your declining health, with your lack of productivity, with low quality of life, all the things we talked about, and of course, Fat Loss and Muscle Building getting harder. So all of those things if you want to be playing the long game with everything, sleep has to be one of the most vital things in your life that you care about and try to improve. So let's talk about how to do that. Right. We know sleep is important you're like Philip shut up about it. You're like 24 minutes in and now I'm just like, you know, scared to death that, you know, if I only get seven hours of sleep, I'm gonna die. Get a diet at 50. All right. So we know it's important for all these things. But let's talk about practical tips. So I've got for you, I was like, should I should I do the typical like, here's 30 things you can do. Now I wanted to skinny the list down to seven, what I think are really important, mostly simple and straightforward actions. Okay, number one is the light exposure. Light is the major environmental cue that sets your circadian rhythm, right, the 24 hour biological clock is our circadian rhythm, it times our sleep or wakefulness, our cortisol, and blue light in particular, because that's what the sun has, right? Unfortunately, it's also what our screens have with our iPads, you know, iPhones, computers, everything have blue light suppresses melatonin, and that's the hormone that makes you sleepy. So if you want to fall asleep faster, you've got to cut out that blue light. As soon as you can, before you go to bed, ideally wants two hours, or and or you could wear blue light blocking glasses, that's what I do. Because I know I'm not going to, I just admit that I'm not going to escape blue light, it's in light bulbs, it's in random phone screens, I do like to watch TV at night, you know, relax, the day is over, I don't have energy for them to go. So turn on Netflix, right? We all do it, it's fine. But now you can wear amber color blue blocking glasses to block it out, I have an orange, I have a smart ball next to my bed that I can adjust to like an orange hue as well. So and the other thing you can do is you can either cover your nightlights or use like orange colored night lights, you can use a sleep mask, you know, you can make sure that you are fully covered. light exposure happens not just through your eyes with your skin as well. And the here's the here's the opposite of that is if you can get some bright light exposure early in the day from the sun, it's going to regulate your circadian rhythm from the front end. And it kind of tells you right now it's morning and set yourself up for better success later on. So that's light, light exposure in general, very, very important. Number two is a consistent sleep schedule, I've become a huge fan of this one. Because even those who do get a little bit less sleep than ideal, let's say you get six and a half hours of sleep every night, which I'll be I'll admit I am prone to do I have so much that I want to get done in the day. And then I want to spend time with my wife at night. And it's kind of like the schedule works. And I want to work out in the morning. You know, could I make a little more drastic changes to get an extra half hour an extra hour, of course. But I also know that there are there are parts of sleep quality that I can improve and one of those is being consistent. So when I go like seven nights in a row with the exact same bedtime and wait time, and only get an average of six and a half hours of sleep actually have a risk of violating my own rule feel pretty good. But I actually feel better, I'll say in relative terms than when I don't have a consistent schedule and get the same amount of sleep. That's what I was gonna say. So in relative terms, it seems to be a benefit. Because erratic bedtimes and wake times like number one with the light, they confuse that clock inside you that biological clock or not biological, the circadian rhythm, and that it makes it harder to fall asleep and wake up because your body is expecting you to go to sleep at this time. And now you're confusing it using a different time. You don't have to be like right on the minute, but within 30 to 60 minute window for waking and sleeping, even on the weekends, your body's gonna love that. Try that out. Okay, even if it's the same amount of sleep, try making sure that it is consistent. Number three is the classic pre bed ritual, the winding down ritual, because we all know sleep isn't just a switch, you can't just jump into bed and fall asleep. Now, you might and maybe that's a sign that you're overly tired to begin with. But there are many things you can do in the hour leading up to bed that can calm you down. I like reading, okay, I have a Kindle that has the orange spectrum light on it. So I can do like a nightlight version of it. I wear orange glasses, and I might even turn on the orange light bulb and just read for like 30 minutes, you know, calms me down gets me to bed, you might stretch, you might do meditation, you might do breath work, you might just journal before bed, you might take a hot shower or bath, right? Hot, not cold, because hot will cause your body to want to release the heat and it will cool you down. The caveat here is to avoid anything stimulating that revs you up or stresses you out. And of course, movies and TV and video games and all that tend to fall in that category. But even reading current reading code as well if it's like super stimulating or some traumatic, you know, or true crime or something like that. So just use your judgment. So that's the what pre bed Ritual number four is optimizing your overall environment. And this is just taking the time to look around your room as you as you listen to this podcast if you're in your house, if you're not do it later, do it later. And just kind of go through a checklist of things that you could you can just tweak that are permanent changes in your room for a while. So it needs to be dark, cool and quiet. Right and buy cool, we mean 65 to 68 degrees. And that doesn't always match your thermostat, right? Because how houses have the way they cool with with the fans and the air conditioner in the zones and all that may not exactly match, but it should, it should feel extremely comfortable and cool enough that you want to put some at least a sheet on if not a cover. And then things like blackout curtains. As some people like white noise machines, I prefer just no noise at all. But it's possibility breathable bedding, they do have fancy mattresses that can change their temperature, you can wear a sleep mask, right? All of those things. It's trying to keep electronics and light out, but trying to make it more like a cave when you sleep. So that's number four. Number five is timing, your strength training, your exercise and your food intake to improve your bedtime and your quality. All right, we know that movement is awesome in general, but also for sleep, whether it's training or some form of cardio walking, it actually is great for sleep, but not too close to bedtime. So we want to avoid like intense workouts three to four hours before bed for you nighttime lifters and nighttime exercisers, it behooves you to experiment with moving that up, you know, you don't have to be a 5am lifter, but moving it up from like six or 7pm. Or if you go after dinner, like that's probably too late for optimal sleep and moving it up to no later than say 4pm is something worth trying to see if it helps. If you are the type that needs to eat closer to bed, if you want to pre bed snack or you're you're eating a lot of calories. Again, the lighter and more digestible it is, as opposed to the big and heavy is going to reduce any disruption to your sleep. And then of course, caffeine is part of this, in that most people would be better off not having caffeine any any later than say one or 2pm in the afternoon. Now, you know, some people are like, well, I my last cup of coffee is three or four, I would really move it way up, say lunchtime, right. So for yourself again, I'm not even going to have it after I'm gonna have it with lunch at the latest and that's it. I'm done with coffee, I'm gonna move to decaf, decaf soda, whatever, and see if that helps your sleep. I think yeah, I think that covers the training and food. Number six is supplementation. It is worth mentioning, because some supplements do have some solid evidence behind them for improving sleep quality. Magnesium is my favorite because most people are deficient in magnesium anyway. All right, look for bioavailable forms of magnesium, and take them. I used to say with dinner, but I actually liked taking them closer to bed, like maybe an hour before bed, just to get the benefit for sleep quality. There are other things that I typically don't even recommend to clients, but you're welcome to research them. Glycine, l theanine, tart cherry juice. And there's probably other things out there. I'm not a huge fan of supplements in general, beyond the basics, you know, filling in the gaps. And I think I think magnesium is a big one. And then always start low and then assess your individual response. I mean, magnesium is pretty well known if you know, if you're female, probably three to 400 milligrams a day, male, probably four to 500 milligrams, and most pills are in that range. Other things like melatonin and CBD oil. Again, I recommend trying to improve everything without going that route, if you can, all right, and then once you've exhausted everything you're like, I still need some other help somehow, you know, you can look into those. Number seven, the last one that I wanted to offer today is, let's say you've gone into bed, you've done all the things. And now your brain is keeping you awake. Right? Okay, raise your hand virtually, if you know what I'm talking about. It's happened to all of us happens to me. Not that often, I would say maybe once or twice a month. But when it does happen, I know that if I just try to fall asleep, it's not going to happen. It might happen to you in the middle of the night, right? You wake up at like three, you're still couple hours away from getting up. And your body's like I gotta go to the bathroom and you go to the bathroom, you get back to bed. And guess what, you can't fall asleep because now your brain turns on and starts to think about things. I don't know if if you relate to this, but I actually will deliberately try to remain in a zombie state. I go, you know, open the toilet, use the bathroom. And I try to I actually deliberately try to not think if that makes any sense to you. And sometimes it works. I tried to keep my mind a blank slate. But anyway, that's not my tip for you. My tip is don't simply lie in bed awake for longer than like 20 minutes, right? You know, don't just toss and turn and get frustrated. Get up. This is fine. Just get up out of bed and do something. Maybe it's a calming activity that gets you sleepy. Maybe it's like cracking open that book again and letting it put you to sleep. Maybe it's writing things down. This helps a lot of people. This has helped me as well. I will not on your phone. Don't get the blue light going right throw those Amber glasses on. Keep the light very low. Don't wake up your spouse or significant other. But just have a notebook next to your bed and just jot down the stuff that's on your mind. You might have some inspiration And you might have some really cool insights. And then you wake up and you say, Oh, I'm actually glad that I couldn't get to sleep because I needed to get this off my mind. Or you say, Who the heck wrote that it's chicken scratch. But either way, it should help you get back to bed. Because you want to have that association between your bed and sleep, not your bed and not saving, okay? Now, some of these might seem basic you might have heard them before, it doesn't mean that they're easy to do I understand. It doesn't mean that they're not important, right? It's usually these unsexy fundamentals that give you the biggest return on investment for your effort. And that's why I included them in here. So just pick one or two. Okay, for you overachievers, if you want to go to pick one or two of these strategies, and implement it this week, and track how your sleep responds, if you wear an aura ring, great look at the data, but just track a few things track when you went to bed when you got up, and how you felt on a scale of one to 10 How well did I sleep, I have sometimes noticed these things overnight. Or I will notice when I'm, I'm getting into to habits that don't serve my sleep, like if I do happen to like, Oh, I gotta see the rest of that movie. Before I go to bed, you know, they just pop on Netflix in the bedroom, which I shouldn't have a TV in the bedroom, right? But I do. So there, I gotta learn how to do that. So when I do that, I know that when I wake up the next day, I'm not going to feel as well rested. And I know that and sometimes I make the choice to do it anyway. But that's a that's a poor trade off for my health. So none of us are perfect. I'm not perfect, either, implemented this week and see how it responds so that you can make that association between the thing and the improvement. And then those are going to snowball over time. Like any any habit. Okay, we covered a lot of ground today. You know, we talked about the science of what happens in your body and in your brain during sleep, how it impacts things like fat loss, building muscles, supporting your health, and then some strategies to upgrade your sleep. So if you take nothing else away from this, I do want you to recognize that sleep is not optional, it is not secondary. It's not like number six or seven on the list, like we often put it, it's when it comes to nutrition and training, it is equivalent. It's like the third leg of that stool, if I were to make a stool with three legs will be nutrition training, sleep. Okay, I know stress is important, but I kind of link stress as a as a downstream effect of some of these other things. And that'll give you a big return on your efforts both in the kitchen and in the gym, which is awesome. And then when it's on point, you're gonna have more energy, you're gonna have motivation, you'll be able to train hard and recover better, and then you can come back stronger the next session, you have an easier time controlling your appetite and cravings, emotional eating anyone, it could be your sleep, you're gonna make better food choices, you're gonna feel more balanced and capable of tackling the daily challenges. In this, this beautiful journey of fitness and health. Like it should be fun and sleep can make it more fun. When you try to skimp on sleep. If you just power through if you're you know, drunk on willpower and caffeine, then you're basically playing the game on on hardmode, or those of you who are into RPGs like I am hardcore mode, right? Except if you screw up, you're not just going to die. Apologies. Every aspect of this is harder, as we've said, right? It's less effective, it's less enjoyable. And that is not sustainable. No one has infinite willpower, you're going to break at some point. So for many of you sleep is the thing, sleep is the missing ingredients, the thing that you're doing, that's killing your gains, and improving it will unlock everything. Okay? Not tomorrow, not next week. Tonight, I want you to get serious about your sleep, commit to giving your body the rest, it needs to repair to restore to come back stronger. And I promise you nothing will be more productive than making that change today. And of course, if you need some more hand holding to build this or any other habit, the doors to which awaits physique University are always open, you get my wonderful, quirky personality there to guide you along the way, as well as many, many other fun activities and ways to learn and grow. And most importantly, you're gonna get a personalized nutrition protocol to maximize fat loss and muscle gain, and sleep of course, and many other things. You're gonna get customized workout programs every month, weekly live calls and workshops to help fast track all of this and get some individualized coaching, and of course, a community of lots of other ambitious folks who all listen to this podcast as well and they're gonna keep you accountable and on track. Go to Whitson weights.com/physique, to learn more and enroll. Again, that's Whitson weights comm slash physique. Thank you, as always, for joining me today and really nerding out about this stuff. This was kind of a fun topic to read research because it's been a while. And I was inspired by one of my clients who asked why all of his efforts, no, here's what he asked. He said, Why is my sleep improved so much? So this is an interesting one. Today we talked about things to do to improve your sleep. He asked Why did his sleep improve so much and we reverse engineered into all of the things that he's done? You know, he's awesome fat. He's improved his habits he he's improved his consistency all the things we talked about. And I'm like, That's why your sleep has improved. So the proof is in the pudding. All right in our next episode 179 the real reasons your scale weight fluctuates, it's not always fat gain. With Louise Digby, you will learn about all the reasons the scale weight fluctuates, the dangers of scale obsession and the importance of non scale victories. We discussed the role of hormones and weight management, the problem with restrictive dieting, and the emotional and psychological side of fat loss and body image, plus lots of tips for sustainable fat loss, please, the best thing you can do to support me right now is to hit follow in your podcast app. And you'll get notified when that episode comes out and support the show. And if you want bonus points, tell somebody else about the podcast. Just tell them hey, there's this awesome podcast, which and wait. It's for people who are skeptical of the fitness industry who want to train smarter not harder. Come on, check it out. As always, stay strong, and I'll talk to you next time here on The wit's end weights podcast. Thank you for tuning in to another episode of wit's end weights. If you found value in today's episode, and know someone else who's looking to level up their wits or weights. Please take a moment to share this episode with them. And make sure to hit the Follow button in your podcast platform right now to catch the next episode. Until then, stay strong.

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