Monday: Sleep!

Monday: Sleep!

Monday: Sleep!

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After a couple weeks of really hard training – as in – really trying to ‘bring it’ for the Open & rep your In-House Team…you might be seeing some pretty amazing gainz…but you might also notice that with the heightened output it’s harder to ‘wind it down’ at night.

This my Volts & Vixens…is the story of my life #SOML

So I have a friend that I turn to when this stuff starts coming up for me. I’ve mentioned him on the blog before – it’s Nathan Holiday who owns Next Level CrossFit in Lake Forest  – who coincidently is the one who got me getting some much needed early morning sunlight…and  also turned me on to Spark #yourewelcome. This is an article he wrote about properly setting your sleep cycle – it is DEFINITELY worth the read…and I’d love to hear your comments in…well the comment section!

——-7 sleep secrets (or something) by Nathan Holiday——
“Sleep can be a neglected area that if focused on can yield impressive benefits. There are only a few areas we can control in our lives to improve physical emotional and psychological regeneration – sleep is a main one. Most people have poor sleep and whether you are an athlete looking for gains or an executive looking for a mental edge applying these 5 strategies will drastically improve sleep quality.

Obviously getting enough sleep is also crucial… we’re looking at a minimum of 8 hours. But for those of you with young children that probably ain’t happening… so the goal is to maximize the quality of the sleep you DO get.

Set up an internal environment conducive to sleep. This includes emotional psychological hormonal and bioenergetic manipulations to maximize dat sleep bro. These are all things I’ve done and do to maximize sleep quality.

Secret # 1: Develop an evening ritual and go to sleep at the same time (or close to it every night)
The body loves rituals. Loves routine. We can look at studies on food timing and sleep and notice that the body will secrete certain hormones in anticipation of an event. It’s basic conditioning. So take advantage of that by developing a series of things you do before going to sleep. After you develop it into a ritual the body and subconscious will expect to go to sleep when you do those things and the time to sleep will be drastically reduced. Pretty sweet!

An example:

  • 15 minute walk
  • Hot shower
  • Tea
  • Read for 15 minutes
  • Sleep


Secret # 2: Write things down

This ties right into meditation (the next secret). If you have a lot going on in your life – most of us do – sit down for 5 minutes every night and plan the next day out – list the things on your mind. Decide the priorities and the things you need to get done. This will alleviate that mental stress of holding a bunch of ‘crap’ in your mind. Very simple. Very effective.

Secret # 3: Learn to meditate

This is especially important if you are a business owner or someone with a ton going on. You all know what meditation is but may not understand just how awesome it can be. It’s not about going to a zen place or going hippy on everyone… it has much more to do with a pragmatic tool to empty your mind. In meditation there’s something called the “monkey mind” that describes how our brains have the inability to focus on a single idea for long. Your mind jumps from thought to thought things pop in and out you have no control. When we’re working on a ton of stuff stresses coming from all directions it’s difficult to clear the mind. I’m sure you know the feeling of almost falling asleep when you suddenly think of something that you didn’t do or NEED to do. “Dammit… there goes my sleep.” Meditating before bed virtually eliminates the possibility of that happening. It goes without saying to avoid psychologically stimulating/demanding activities right before bed.

For 10 minutes before you get into bed do this:

Close your eyes. Focus on your breath. Observe it going all the way down into the belly and then exhaling out the top of your head. The breath traveling in a circle. Sit comfortably. Focus your entire mind on the breath and the path of the breath. When ideas pop in (they will) and you become aware that you’re no long focused on your breath simply go back to focusing on the breath. If you can do 10 minutes when you open your eyes and look around the mind will be silent. It feels so good.


Secret # 4: Night time food intake
This is pretty simple. As a general rule don’t eat a ton before you go to sleep. I know this contradicts some theories out there. But I’ve found my sleep is better when I’m on a relatively empty stomach. Yes this is anecdotal. If you feel you NEED to eat something do it. But be aware of sleep quality make small adjustments and see if it makes a difference over time.

Secret # 5: Sleep in a Pitch Black Room

Read TS Wiley’s book “Lights Out.” I recommend this book to all my clients. But sleeping in a completely pitch black room keeps cortisol levels down where they should be and improves the release of growth hormone. If you do this you’ll be surprised just how much a difference it makes to DEPTH of sleep. If you’re a shift worker this is an ABSOLUTE MUST!

Secret #6: Supplements

I won’t get into it too much but I recommend ZMA Valerian Root GABA low dose melatonin and high(er) dose gluatamine (10-15g). My personal concoction is a generic form of ZMA + 10g of glutamine + Night Time Recovery and Sleep Works (when I’m going to sleep really early). As a disclaimer I will benefit financially if you buy the last 2 from me. But that in no way influences my recommendation of them. I’ve seen a real benefit from those 2 supplements. You can buy those 2 together as a package here. The ZMA I take you can get here.

Secret #7: Ground your ass

Now we’re getting hippy. Grounding is essentially mimicking direct contact with the earth. It ‘grounds’ us electrically. This has been shown to increase healing and balance out cortisol rhythms over time (both really good things.) I sleep on a sheet that plugs into the third prong (ground) of the wall outlet. For the first 6 weeks I slept grounded I had the most intense lucid dreaming I’ve ever had. Occasionally it will still happen but over time those effects have worn off. Learn more about it or purchase here.

Post your thoughts to comments – we’re working on getting some additional supplments that will fall in line with his prescriptions and enhance ya’lls recovery…stay tuned!

Monday’s Training: 


A. EMOM in 10 Min; Power Clean Technique

  • Fitness; Hang Power Clean x3 reps
  • P/S: Build to a Heavy 2 Rep Power Clean [does not have to be Tough & go]

Bx3; F/P/S
B1. Press x5 reps
B2. GHD Sit Up x10-15

C. 5 min AMRAP  [no more than 2/3 of A – same bar – no changing weights]

3x Deadlift
3x Hang Power Clean

3x Shoulder to Overhead

6x Burpee over Bar