Cycling and sleep go together like bacon & eggs, fish & chips or strwberries & cream. Not a lot of people know this but you actually don’t get in shape while you’re exercising. Whilst working out you are creating thousands of tiny micro-tears in your muscle fibers, the transformation starts when you sleep, this is when your body releases large amounts of beneficial hormones to build you up better than before. You only get the full reward from a tough ride through proper R&R.
That’s why it’s important that you get quality sleep so that you get the most gains from exercise. Here are 5 ways to sleep your way to a better ride:
Many people don’t truly understand the benefits they’re getting from a good nights sleep. Quality sleep balances your hormones, fortifies your immune system, boosts your metabolism, increases energy levels, and improves the function of your brain.
Have a cut off time for computers, iPads, televisions, and smartphones of at least an hour before bedtime. The artificial blue light emitted by electronic screens triggers your body to produce more daytime hormones (like cortisol) and disorients your body’s natural preparation for sleep. Try reading a book to relax and switch off at the end of each day. I found Bradley Wiggins autobiography got me off to sleep in no time!
Caffeine is a powerful nervous system stimulant. Try setting an unbreakable caffeine curfew to make sure your body has time to remove the majority of it from your system. After your evening meal give caffeine the elbow and order a de-caf!
You can get amplified benefits of shut-eye by sleeping at the right hours. If you’re not feeling well rested when you wake up despite eight hours of sleep, try going to bed earlier. As my Nan used to say ‘An hour before midnight is worth 2 after midnight’.
Having an orgasm can be like a full-on sedative for most people because your body releases a cocktail of chemicals, including oxytocin, serotonin, norepinephrine, vasopressin, and the pituitary hormone prolactin. So, if your really having trouble dropping off at night get your sex life sorted and you’ll be sleeping like a baby! I’m sure the other half will understand it’s all in the name of improving your personal fitness and stamina!!
BTW Best not to wear your heart rate monitor or take the Garmin to bed. Doesn’t really send out the right signals……believe me!!!
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