SLEEP DEPRIVATION - ANOTHER GREAT ENEMY TO THE OVER 40 ATHLETE … AND EVERYONE …
LACK OF SLEEP – ANOTHER GREAT ENEMY TO THE OVER 40 ATHLETE USE THESE WEAPONS TO HELP BRING BACK YOUR SUPER-POWERS
Possibly one of the simplest and most important Hacks that I can give anyone wishing to improve their Performance, Body-Composition, Health, Wellbeing and Longevity is to improve their sleep. As we age and enter into our 40’s and beyond however, an unfortunate side effect is a decline in the ability to get full and recuperative sleep like we did when we were younger.
There are a multitude of reasons for this and the main ones being –
1) As we get older, we accumulate more stresses; Mortgages, Jobs, Children, Marriage! Are just a few of the things that add up during the day and prevent a restful mind at night 2) The accumulation of stresses that we have amassed over the years has led to most Over 40’s having chronically elevated Cortisol and a disrupted hormonal cycle. With elevated Cortisol comes a cascade of hormonal responses that are intertwined with the ‘Fight–Or–Flight’ Syndrome and are responsible for putting us in a state of high readiness and emergency. Cortisol levels should naturally start to elevate in the morning, ideally when it becomes light or when our alarm clock goes off to prepare us for the day. With a disrupted Hormonal system, Cortisol elevations in the middle of the night are common however and therefore our bodies become alerted at times when it should be deep in sleep and resting
3) When we were younger an espresso with a late-night dinner had no effect on our sleep patterns whatsoever. As we pass beyond our 40’s however as described in Point 2 we typically have already chronically elevated Cortisol levels and less tolerance to further increases in Cortisol. The caffeine in coffee elevates cortisol, adrenaline and nor epinephrine levels and therefore any consumption of coffee after midday can have a dramatic effect on sleep patterns through the night
4) As we age ‘Nocturia’ becomes much more common – put simply ‘The need to empty our bladder in the middle of the night increases’!! This could be due to many reasons but is typical to an enlarging prostate and / or a liver that is under stress. In addition as we age our bodies produce less of an anti-diuretic hormone that enables us to retain fluid. With decreased levels of this hormone we unfortunately produce more urine at night and are unable to hold it in our shrinking bladder!!
5) As we age our Testosterone Levels decline; https://www.paulhoskingscoaching.com/blog/arch-enemy-no1-to-the-over-40-athlete-low-testosterone
Alongside this our Growth Hormone Levels decline too. Low Testosterone and Growth Hormone levels have been proven by much research to affect Sleep quality
With these points in mind and regularly poor sleep cycles we are unfortunately destined to declining Physical Performances, worsening Body-Composition and problems with our Health. Poor Sleep is one of the Greatest Enemies to our Longevity and will ultimately lead to early death if we do not do Combat with it.
I have recommended in previous BLOGS beneficial ways to improve our Sleep; https://www.paulhoskingscoaching.com/blog/sleep
However, the Three Supplements that I have recommended below are not typical, off the shelf recommendations. These tips are normally kept for my Private Clients as they are Top Secret Bio-Hacks I reserve for my Elite Performers. The main effect of usage being a blunting of Cortisol levels and an elevation of Testosterone and Growth Hormone Levels. If my previous recommendations aren’t helping however then due to the massive importance of sleep, I have decided to let you in on my secrets.
Use them wisely and take a Big Step towards ‘Regaining Your Super-Powers’!
PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE Contains both Amino Acids and Fatty Acids and is produced naturally by the body. We get most of what the body requires however from foods such as Soy, Mackerel, Tuna, Beef and chicken.
‘PS’ is critical for many body functions, but its main role is as the key building block to the cells in our brain. It is however also intrinsically involved in bone formation, hormone secretion from the adrenal glands, testicular function and cell repair.
Its Main Benefits are brain related and its usages are
- To improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease
- To improve Age-Related Cognitive Decline
- To combat Depression
- To treat ADHD symptoms
More importantly to most readers of this BLOG research has also shown its benefit to Boosting Athletic Performance. The key reasons being improved brain response, with increased mental focus, better cognition skills and decreased perceived rates of exhaustion. It has however also been shown in some studies to improve Maximum Oxygen uptake and also decreased muscle damage and improved hormonal response to exercise stress.
Obviously, as great as all of these benefits are for the main purpose of this article it’s recommendation is due its ability to reduce Cortisol production under stress and also to speed up Physical recovery. Its ability to lower cortisol levels and also to normalize the circadian rhythm of Cortisol has been shown in much research and therefore makes it ideal for a high achieving individual with a history of putting his body and mind under long term high levels of stress.
Taking 300-600mg 30minutes before bed will help relax the brain, reduce Cortisol elevations through the night and help the body recover from Physical stress. I recommend doing this for 3-6 months before taking 4-8 week rest from its usage
ZMA Is a supplement containing - ZINC Zinc is an essential mineral with antioxidant properties that supports the immune system, and also plays a critical role in Protein synthesis.
Zinc deficiency leads to decreased Testosterone and an increase in oestrogen receptors and may also increase Testosterone aromatization into oestrogen. Increased oestrogen equals decreased Testosterone and a loss of many Male Super-Powers!! Although Zinc can be found in many foods including Red Meat, Nuts, Eggs, Shellfish and Wholegrains like Quinoa and Rice it is not uncommon for an active Athlete or regular exerciser to have less than optimum levels due to the fact that the electrolytes Zinc and Magnesium are lost at quite a high level through sweat.
MAGNESIUM - Magnesium is another essential mineral that supports the metabolism, prevents depression and many chronic illnesses and helps with the management of stress and sleep Although available in many foods including Green Leafy vegetables, avocado, banana, nuts and seeds the Western Diet typically requires the need for Magnesium supplementation dramatically. Magnesium supplementation has been shown to decrease nocturnal Cortisol levels and help induce relaxation and reduce anxiety
VITAMINB6 - Vitamin B6 helps energy production
When combined into a single supplement taken before bed there is a lot of clinical research that supports its benefits.
The main effects of this combination have been shown to be a blunting of cortisol and an elevation of both testosterone and Growth Hormone.
Cortisol is released by the adrenal glands and is part of a normal daily, healthy functioning bodily process. However chronically elevated Cortisol levels which arise in people who are putting their bodies under excessive physical and mental stress will lead to Poor sleep and a multitude of Health issues. As Individuals intent upon getting the best physical gains and performance from our bodies we must learn and understand how to manage our Cortisol levels. ZMA has been shown in much research to help supress elevated Cortisol levels
Alongside copious additional positive research - In 2000 Researchers gave ZMA supplements to a group of NCAA Footballers working out twice a day. After 7 weeks they found significant increases in the players Testosterone and Growth Hormone. If you are serious about achieving better sleep, being Healthier and Performing better this supplement is definitely worth a try.
I recommend taking 30-40mg Zinc and 300-600mg Magnesium - 30 Minutes before Bed every night and ideally on an empty stomach and not near any Dairy consumption as this may inhibit its absorption.
Glycine is another Amino Acid which is produced naturally by the body from other amino acids present and is necessary for the Growth & Maintenance of Tissue and for the production of Hormones. It is also found in high Protein foods including meat, fish and eggs. A typical daily diet includes about 2grams of glycine.
Glycine is however also an inhibitory neurotransmitter supporting the health of the brain and playing a large role in supporting a good night sleep. It has a calming effect on the brain helping us to wind down before sleep. Recent Research has shown that taking just 3 grams Glycine before bed decreases how long it takes to fall asleep, increases deep sleep cycles and improves daytime cognition
Sleep is one of the single most important things to living and performing optimally and to helping us recover, repair and to achieve our physical goals. Glycine has been shown to dramatically improve sleep quality but also rather than leaving you feel groggy the next day as many sleep aids do, it regulates feelings of fatigue and improves wakefulness and sharpness of thought and actions
If this isn’t enough good reason to add this supplement to your arsenal of weapons, then also consider that it is also -
- The main Amino Acid in Collagen; Providing strength to our skin, tendons, ligaments, blood, bones and cartilage
- One of the three components in the production of Creatine; Providing us with extra energy in short bursts of explosive activity. Increasing our strength and possibly being beneficial with brain function and having a positive effect against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
- May Increase Insulin Sensitivity. Helping maintain healthy Blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of Type II diabetes
- May reduce inflammation in the Liver
I recommend taking 3-5 grams 30 Minutes before Bed every night
Improving your sleep is a Giant Step towards helping improve your ‘Super-Powers’
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