We all know how important sleep is in our daily lives and how we sometimes wish we could spend the entire day in bed sleeping rather than enduring the daily routine of waking up at 6am.
Our bodies need sleep in order to function properly each day. Chronic depravation can lead to numerous negative effects that include constant restlessness, irritable behavior and just a flat-out lack of production.
Have you ever had less than 3 hours of sleep heading into the next day and tried to stay productive as normal?
If you said yes, you’re probably aware of how extremely difficult it is and that it’s not very fun to get less than the normal amount of sleep.
Now, if you’re anything like me you’ll know that stimulants and caffeine is the go-to for days like these.
There’s just one minor problem with drowning yourself in venti cups from Starbucks or pounding away energy drinks like it’s your job…
You create a cycle.
Yes, it’s nice to get a boost when you’re feeling exhausted, but this can lead to a change in your lifestyle where you start to adapt your body to consuming more caffeine and stimulants throughout the day.
How can this affect you negatively, you ask?
When consuming caffeine, the central nervous system becomes stimulated and simply acts as a mask for tiredness.
Your alertness and energy levels might increase but this just temporarily hides your body’s desperate request for you to get your ass in bed.
Not to mention the fact that taking stimulants closer to bed will cause you to stay up binge watching Netflix into the early morning hours. Then you end up hating yourself in the morning wondering how someone can be this tired.
Crazy story — I’m currently writing this whilst having had 4 hours of sleep the night prior and just chugged an entire Raze Energy drink. If there’s any takeaway from this article, don’t be like me.
Still have your attention or are you dozing off?
While I still have you, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of why maintaining a healthy sleep schedule is vital to helping keep your body at an optimal state. We will also go over the circumstances of how sleep patterns can be thrown off and how to prevent this from happening with lifestyle changes and supplementation.
Why is Sleep Important?
Maintaining a proper sleep schedule plays a very important role for the human body and its effects range from helping with muscle growth to helping brain functionality. In fact, sleep is so important that it has also been used as a torture device and by depriving individuals of it, would cause an attack on the mental and physical health of a person.
The loss of sleep can actually cause adverse effects on the metabolism  which can lead to excess weight gain and softened body composition due to the hormonal irregularities that apply when an improper sleep pattern occurs.
By having a proper balance of sleep on a consistent basis, one study has shown that the anabolic hormone IGF-1 is increased which allows for protein synthesis  and can help improve muscle mass at a consistent rate.
It is recommended that individuals get at least 7-8 hours of sleep  on a consistent basis in order to support muscle growth and physical well-being.
Like many of us though, it can be much harder to get the proper amount of sleep on a nightly basis which can cause recurring issues. Certain conditions such as chronic insomnia can arise which make it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep during the night. Insomnia can often be associated with increased stress, anxiety and over-stimulation with caffeine-based products. 
If you’re someone who struggles with these issues and find yourself not making enough progress in the gym, odds are that its most likely due to a combination of poor diet and lack of sleep on a daily basis.
If you feel like you’ve lost hope on ever being able to establish a good sleeping schedule, fear not.
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There are many different methods and supplementation to incorporate that help with sleep irregularities which we will further discuss.
The Circle of CNS Stimulation
As mentioned previously, trying to get around the dreaded restless feeling after having a poor amount of sleep the night prior is often associated with energy drinks, coffee and pre-workout.
While consuming these items, it may help but it’s only temporary as the stimulants trigger an effect on the brain that allows for chemicals to be increased which raises alertness, focus and heart rate.  By stimulating the central nervous system, you give yourself the feeling of energy and drive to help drown out the tired feeling.
Sounds exciting and scientific, right?
Sure, it may be a nice pick-up to help keep you going throughout the day but if you consistently rely on stimulants each day then your tolerance continues to skyrocket.
What do you do when you develop a tolerance of something?
You increase the dosage.
By raising your caffeine and stimulant intake per day, you run the risk of increased negative issues such as the inability to fall asleep at proper times. The caffeine finally has you by the throat and makes quick work of letting you only get a few hours of sleep during the night so that the first thing you do the next morning is down a cup of coffee just to keep you feeling somewhat normal.
There you have it; the cycle continues on in a circle fashion where you find yourself only being able to function properly with a hefty number of stimulants.
Shocker — it’s hard to give up stimulants’ cold turkey because of the addiction-like feeling that’s taken over. In reality, you will most likely get a pretty bad headache and feel irritable for at least 24-48 hours before you regain a sense of physical and mental normality.
However, once you do eliminate caffeine consumption, you’re able to relinquish tolerance levels and they will eventually climb back down to a normal amount so that when you do decide to go back to your daily coffee, you’re not finding yourself needing more than one cup.
How to Help Improve Sleep Patterns
While keeping this as simple as possible, there are many different methods to help get your sleep schedule back on track. If you want to make sure that all of your hard work in the gym isn’t getting lost, it’s important that you take care of your body and sleep is one of the main focal points.
Whether it be making lifestyle changes or adding in everyday supplements to your regime, it’s quite simple to help improve.
Let’s break things down on how to prevent a lack of sleep.
With insomnia being a main contributor to sleep issues, you can help reduce stress levels and regulate cortisol imbalances with supplements that use key ingredients such as KSM-66® Ashwagandha which has been shown to reduce stress levels making it a key adaptogen to use in quality formulations. 
Some additional ingredients that help reduce stress and anxiety levels are:
Valerian Root – One study has proven that the introduction of valerian root in individuals with elevated psychological stress resulted in decreased stress levels by the end of this experiment. 
This ingredient can be found in many cortisol regulation products within a complex blend.
L-Tryptophan – Key evidence shows that this neurological and mood supporting ingredient helps with improved release of serotonin levels which triggers elevated mood levels. 
Low serotonin levels are commonly associated with depression. 
Cannabidiol (CBD) – This trending surge has fascinated society with its clinical evidence supporting the improvements of sleep and helps decrease elevated stress and anxiety levels. 
Because of the numerous benefits surrounding CBD, it can be utilized as an effective way to help support a healthy sleep schedule while reducing anxiety and stress levels that can cause chronic insomnia. 
Supplements for Sleep Aid
Following up in the supplementation category are specific supplements that can be taken in general to help with a rapid state of sleep.
There have certainly been a number of over the counter goods that can even be found at your local grocery store to help assist with those looking for immediate results.
One of those products is extremely familiar to most individuals and you may have already used it before.
Melatonin – This highly researched agent has been used by many as a fast-acting sleep aid and is considered to be more favorable when needing an advanced method for sleep inducing behavior. 
Passion Flower – Also classified as, Passiflora incarnatea L. Passion flower is renowned for its key effects relating to sleep support. An experiment was conducted on male adult wistar rats that showed effective recordings to support passion flower as a useful ingredient for sleep inducing properties. 
REPP Sports is dominant in the best sleep aid product group with the top selling and great tasting, Hyper Sleep. Consisting of powerful ingredients at effective dosages, you’re almost guaranteed to be in a sustained deep sleep while waking up refreshed and ready to start the day.
Unlike most sleep aid products on the market, Hyper Sleep doesn’t leave you feeling groggy or cause an upset stomach in the morning.
Always a major plus when searching for the top rated sleep inducing products.
Making a Lifestyle Change
Easier said than done but making changes to your daily schedule may be more beneficial toward your overall physical and mental health. Starting with subtle changes in your everyday activities can actually be more useful than trying to use supplementation as a heavy influencer to get your sleep schedule on track.
No Stimulants in the Evening
Try to avoid the consumption of caffeine-based products in the evening hours. With certain types of caffeine, it’s not always safe to assume that the effects will wear off in the next hour.
Take it easy and don’t risk the chances of stimulants overtaking your time for sleep that’s much needed and keep it to just morning and early afternoon if you do decide to drink coffee or energy drinks.
Go to Bed Earlier
I’m not trying to be a grumpy old grandpa, but this common advice is actually true and shouldn’t just be brushed under the rug. By going to bed earlier, you give yourself the best chance to wake up more refreshed and ready to start the day.
Allowing yourself an adequate 8 hours of sleep will help eliminate the sensation of needing to be woken up with a tall Monster energy drink — unless, you’re just not a morning person.
Change your Diet
Yes, even having a healthier diet can help improve your sleeping. Your food choice is just as important to maintaining optimal sleep patterns as it is to helping you get shredded.
One experiment actually shows that consuming healthy foods such as fatty fish, fruit and milk help contribute to better sleep due to the fact that they contain the vital hormone melatonin. 
The Take Home
If there’s anything to take from this article it’s that sleep is the most crucial component toward helping your body recover and continue to grow. Depriving yourself of sleep is never a good thing and maintaining a proper sleep schedule of at least 7-8 hours is beneficial for health and muscle growth.
If you’re experiencing the dreaded cycle of stimulant consumption which makes it harder to stay on track, try experimenting with sleep inducing supplements or just cut the caffeine out altogether. If you’re looking for a boost in focus, try going for a nootropic-based formula and take it early enough in the day where you will not find yourself with prolonged effects stemming from stimulant consumption.
Most importantly, monitor your lifestyle. If there are certain obstacles you find yourself climbing on a daily basis that causes a disruption in sleep patterns, look to find different ways around them.
Cater to your body’s needs and give it the much-needed rest it deserves because you will find that your progress will improve much more than you would with little to no sleep.
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