3 a.m – you stare blankly at the ceiling.
The feeling of hunger in your stomach is deep, and you just wish you could get a couple hours more sleep before you have to get up at 5.30 a.m for your morning cardio before work.
4 a.m - eventually you just give up on the prospect of falling back asleep and start your day. That important 2 p.m work meeting seems a very long time away. Fuelled by caffeine and Supplement Needs Thyroid Stack, you kick off fasted morning cardio trying to amp yourself up for the day ahead.
10 a.m – an hour deep into work. You’re finding it difficult to concentrate and comprehend the simplest of sentences your colleague is saying to you. Thinking of your next caffeine fix that will keep you going, but not even coffee is going to power you through. You forego taking a serving of PRE Focus+ knowing it’s too valuable ahead to training legs that evening to waste.
2 p.m – your eyes are beginning to show last night’s troubled sleep during your meeting with your Boss. Your thought process cloudy from now both hunger and tiredness. They know you compete in bodybuilding but have no understanding of the rigor. You’ve made a simple mistake in your presentation forecast but your Boss isn’t impressed.
4 p.m – meeting over, you take your serving of PRE Focus+ and PRE Pump+ ahead of your pre workout meal. Its always risky taking caffeine after 2 p.m towards sleep but the desire to train overrules that decision. Pre-workout meal eaten, you prepare to leave the office and leave work behind for the gym.
9 p.m – browsing on your phone, an email comes in from your Boss who isn’t happy with how today’s meeting went and wants to review urgently tomorrow. Thoughts begin to race in your mind. You decide to watch an episode of your current TV show; which turns into 3.
11.30 p.m – with 6 hours until you’ve to get up; you crawl up the stairs to bed, hoping you will fall asleep quickly tonight……but it doesn’t happen.
The caffeine you had 2 p.m is still in your system, keeping you awake.
Your stomach is now feeling hungry as your post workout meal was your last.
Your Boss’s response is playing over and over in your head.
You’re tired but wired.
Eventually, your eyes grow heavy and you fall asleep.
2 a.m – you’re convinced you have had a full night’s sleep. Anticipating to see 5 a.m on your watch. You’ve only been asleep for just over 90 minutes.
The vicious circle of the previous night is about to repeat itself…….
Anecdote of a tired, hungry bodybuilder
All joking aside, I’m sure the above scenario is one all too familiar if you have competed. But it doesn’t have to be all suffering. By incorporating some simple tips, we can ensure that we are getting adequate rest so that we are recovering optimally; both mentally and physically.
First and foremost, sleep hygiene is of critical importance. Just like prioritising nutrition, training and cardio, sleep should be the most fundamental important tool that should be kept sacred during a prep. A sleep routine becomes key to managing the daily stresses of working, and winding down for the evening post training. So, let’s see where we can optimise the above scenario for sleep.
A set regular bedtime.
A non-negotiable. Know exactly when you’re going to sleep and how many sleep cycles this is going to achieve for your body. Unless you have the luxury of daytime naps, your sleep time is going to be the only time your body is going to recover. Make it a priority.
Caffeine beyond 2 p.m is probably not the smartest idea…..
Unless you’re going to utilise PM Priming Stack 120 minutes before bed which helps speed up the metabolism of caffeine and induces an environment of relaxation.
Space food to later in the day.
Waking up hungry during the night? Moving meals to later in the day and fasting for a portion of the morning will ensure you have banked a considerable amount of food closer to bedtime so you’re going to sleep with a full stomach and not waking up due to low blood sugar either….just try and finish your last meal 90 to 120 minutes before sleep time so it doesn’t effect your sleep quality. And if you’re worried about not having an empty stomach for Sleep Stack, then take your serving before your last meal.
A calm, dark, cool environment.
Sweating at night during prep is common due to how the body thermo-regulates itself. Having a shower before bed can help with raising core temperature so the body isn’t trying to dissipate heat during sleep which can wake you up. It goes without saying a dark environment is also critical which also means no artificial light (including your phone screen). A comfortable mattress and pillow also goes without saying.
A low dopamine environment is critical to a calm mind.
Arguing on social media, replying to emails – anything which is going to stimulate your mind should be avoided 2-3 hours before bed. Magnesium supplementation such as Magnesium Bisglycinate can work wonders here to calm the brain; or utilising Sleep Stack to increase serotonin which helps the mind to relax to fall asleep will greatly help.
Sleep shouldn’t be difficult during prep.
If anything, most competitors undervalue the importance of their sleep towards their journey to the stage.
Don’t be another one of the cliched prepping athletes, struggling through the day from lack of sleep.
Make it a priority and trust our sleep support supplements designed to complement your body’s own biochemistry of sleep.
Dr Dean St. Mart PhD; Product Manager and Formulator for Supplement Needs