Pull ups every day, bro,
That’s the genesis,
When I was small and weak, man, I couldn’t picture this.
– Biggie (probably)
Happy Friday, Coach J here from Anyman Fitness – and welcome to the latest edition of The N.W.A. Newsletter.
Each Friday’s N.W.A. Newsletter will have 3 parts:
- A Nutritional Tip to help make your diet healthier and easier to stick to.
- A Workout Tip to help make your training sessions more effective and fun.
- An Attitude/Mindset tip to help you strengthen your greatest asset – your mental toughness.
I will also give you my single favorite piece of social media content from AF over the past week and link to it on either Instagram or Twitter.
Without any further ado… let’s get started, shall we?
N.W.A. Nutrition Tip Of The Week:
Today, we’re going to discuss all things related to SLEEP!
Sleep can be tough to get in 2022.
Our struggles are (usually) not physical; most of us don’t tire ourselves out the way our ancestors did toiling in the fields, doing hard, manual labor.
Too often our days are spent in front of a computer screen… I know mine are… 🙂
All of that blue, artificial light combined with the stresses of our modern lives can make sleep tricky.
I came across a “sleep stack” recommended by Dr. Andrew Huberman, one of the leading neuroscientists in the country.
A “sleep stack” is a cocktail of healthy, natural supplements that can help you fall asleep and stay asleep longer.
I will admit, I was a bit skeptical.
At times, I’ve had to rely on over the counter sleeping pills to get rest, so I didn’t think natural supplements could help me.
But I was dead wrong – this combination of supplements has me falling asleep quickly and rarely waking up.
When I do wake up, I can also fall asleep again without needing to toss and turn for hours like I used to.
Okay, so here’s the sleep stack, with links for you in case you want to try it out yourself (these are not affiliate links, FYI).
I take 4 of these pills 2-3 hours before bed, before I take any other supplements.
I will admit, you can really feel the calming and sedative effects of magnesium glycinate.
Most of us are magnesium deficient and magnesium is excellent for your heart, bones, and nerves as well.
The rest of these supplements, I take 30-60 minutes before I turn the lights out for the night.
Next up is L-Theanine. This supplement is excellent for stress and anxiety relief.
I take 2 of these 200 mg pills each night.
Glycine is is an often overlooked supplement that’s excellent as a sleep aid.
Glycine helps calm down the neurotransmitters in the brain, which promotes a restful sleep that also aids in your exercise recovery.
It also helps you get into your REM cycle more quickly, which can give you some really vivid dreams, which I find pretty cool.
I take 2 of these 1,000 mg pills to get 2, full grams of glycine.
GABA Calm is a lozenge – you take one and let it dissolve in your mouth for fast activation.
The taste is decent – these are orange flavored.
Similar to glycine, GABA helps to calm your brain’s neurotransmitters down as well (notice a theme here?).
“GABA” stands for gamma-amniobutryic acid – this is the first time I’ve heard of this supplement, but it’s definitely doing the trick for me.
Apegenin is the active ingredient in chamomile tea that helps calm you down.
However, the amount in these pills far exceeds the amount you get from having a cup of tea before bedtime.
Chamomile tea is excellent for relaxation, and Apegenin is no different.
The first 5 items on this list were the items in Andrew Huberman’s sleep stack.
That was more than enough to help me fall asleep, but I was still waking up after my first REM cycle at around 2:30 am and it was taking me awhile to fall back asleep.
I added this brand of CBD oil to the stack, and it worked like a charm. Many nights, I sleep through the night, and on the nights where I wake up, I fall asleep much more quickly when I take the oil.
Do keep in mind this one is far and away the most expensive on this list; you might want to try the sleep stack without the CBD oil, and add it if you need to.
And there you have it – that’s the full and entire sleep stack.
That might seem like a lot, but trust me, it’s worth it to fall asleep quickly and get high quality, restful sleep.
My FitBit’s sleep ratings have been above 80 almost daily since starting this stack, and they were in the 60’s and 70’s most of the time before that.
If you have trouble getting proper sleep, give these a try – they will work wonders for you.
N.W.A. Training Tip Of The Week:
Now for the ‘fun’ part of getting restful sleep… you need to tire yourself out as much as you can physically if you want to get restful, high quality sleep.
Every weekday, I do my best to get in a solid strength training session at the gym.
After I lift for 45 minutes, I walk for 3-4 miles.
During the summer, I walk outside to get ample sunshine and natural vitamin D.
Sadly, up here in Michigan, the summer is turning into Fall, so I’ll be stuck on the treadmill for the next few months…
Tiring yourself out physically is the best thing you can do in order to sleep better at night.
If you crush a workout and are able to get your training and cardio both in daily, it will pay off huge dividends.
Lots of our clients split up their weights and cardio sessions – a common set up is to lift weights first thing in the morning before work, and to get a walk in in the evening after dinner.
That can be a helpful way to do it if you don’t have 90 minutes of time before work to exercise.
Another recommendation from Dr. Huberman is to get sunlight into your eyes as soon as you can upon waking.
Obviously don’t stare at the sun (lol) but simply being outside and allowing the sunlight to enter your pupils tells your brain it’s “morning time”, so to speak.
This helps reset our natural, circadian rhythms, and approximately 16 hours later, your brain will tell your body it’s time to wind down and get some rest.
Seems like a solid recommendation, no?
Being outside is never a bad thing – we could all use some extra fresh air and sunshine in the mornings.
N.W.A. Attitude/Mindset Tip Of The Week:
Perhaps the most important part of getting proper sleep is your mindset on how you approach sleep.
This took me a long time to realize personally.
Sleep has always been a frustrating thing for me.
I’ve always been a light sleeper – any small sound can wake me up.
I’ve also dealt with some bouts of insomnia in the past, and I still occasionally have nights where I toss and turn (they’re far less frequent after implementing the sleep stack I spoke about in the previous sections).
A HUGE lightbulb moment for me came when I heard it put like this…
If you ask someone who sleeps well every night “How do you do it”, they will respond with… “I don’t know, I just fall asleep”.
At first, I hated hearing that!
That’s definitely not me, and it was a bit frustrating to think that some people can just drift off the second their head hits the pillow.
(My wife is like this – after saying goodnight, she’s out every day within 30 seconds…)
But after thinking about it more, it makes total sense.
If you approach sleep with any sort of anxiety around sleep itself, your mind is going to be running on you.
That’s the worst thing that can happen if you’re trying to fall asleep – you want your mind to be empty and thinking of nothing.
And that’s the Catch-22… you can’t be “thinking” of nothing… your mind needs to simply be empty.
In essence, you want to have sort of a small meditation session when you fall asleep.
You want to be focusing on how wonderful the bed feels, how soft your pillow and blankets are, and how amazing it feels to be lying in bed.
You want to try to make your mind totally blank – as blank as you possibly can.
Keeping your room cold is also a great idea – we sleep best when the temperature is 66-68 degrees or so.
During the summertime, that means you’ll have to crank the air a bit to get your room to the desired temperature.
You could also consider getting a “chill pad” – a pad you put underneath your blanket that uses recirculating cold water in order to keep your body nice and cold.
I don’t personally have one of those (we prefer to just crank the air), so I don’t have an actual recommendation for you, but a quick Google search will be helpful here.
Sleep can be a tricky subject to master.
I hope today’s issue helps you out if you’re like me, and you struggle to get a good night’s sleep.
The above recommendations have helped me immensely, and I highly recommend giving them a shot.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
Fitness should be building you up, not tearing you down.
Train to get STRONGER, not to lose weight.
Eat to REFUEL, not to deprive yourself.
Do cardio to ENHANCE your mental health and wellbeing, not for punishment.
These are BIG mindset shifts that will pay off for you.
I hope you enjoyed this edition of the Anyman Fitness N.W.A. Newsletter.
I’ll be back next week.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
I heard tickets were going for $9k for this concert… I think I would have paid it to see those 2 perform together, not gonna lie … (NSFW – lyrics)