Posted: 17 / 10 / 2019

Are you looking for some quick hacks and top tips to help improve your general health and wellbeing? 

Certain things can be implemented immediately and if you do so, you’ll see an improvement not just in your health but also in pretty much every aspect of your life.

If you’re sounder in mind, body and soul then you’ll perform at a higher rate, have better relationships with your partner, peers, whomever, life just flows easier. 

If you improve your health you will also absorb more nutrients, meaning you’ll perform at a higher rate, resulting in more energy, greater focus and all cognitive functions consequently improving. 

Arguably the most important thing you need to get right first though is sleep. It’s my immediate port of call as I know the power of it and if this area of your life isn’t optimal, you can pretty much forget diet and exercise to a degree.

It seems if you mention the word ‘sleep’ everyone becomes an expert, ‘You need to have your 8 hours minimum’. Now don’t get me wrong, getting 8 hours isn’t going to do you anything but good. However in the real world, a lot of people don’t get that 8 hours, or if they do, the quality isn’t there and I know this from doing analysis with all the people I’ve coached.

When comparing a healthful deep 6 hours to 8 hours that is considered light or disturbed, the 6 hours wins all day (and night), quality over quantity is the key. 

 So, here are just a few reasons why is it important to get a good night sleep:

  • Regeneration of cells
  • Growth hormone release
  • Recovery is best during sleep
  • Lack of sleep can lead to depression and anxiety
  • Improved cognitive function, greater fat loss and quicker muscle recovery

 Now, how do you go about improving your sleep? 

Sleep in a blacked-out cave

Well, not quite literally, but even the smallest light can interrupt your sleep. To put this into perspective, if you cannot see anything other than a red standby light from the TV or the light of an alarm clock in your room, understand that little red dot and alarm will albeit very slightly, interrupt your sleep.

We are very sensitive to light, so get rid of alarm clocks lights, block out light shining under the door and invest in blackout curtains to stop street lights shining through. 

More Magnesium 

Taking magnesium 30-45 minutes before bed works amazingly! It’s why ZMA, 5-HTP and other magnesium-based supplements work so well because of the relaxing calmness magnesium brings.

For a 90kg man, I recommend at first taking 900-1200mg, don’t take the supplement with dairy and make sure it’s on an empty stomach. For a 50-60kg female, taking 600-900mg is a good starting point to gauge, you may need to take slightly more or less.

Magnesium brings silence to the nervous system so when you nod off you go so deep into the sleep and wake up feeling as refreshed as you should from a deep sleep. Get to a point where you end up having such good levels of magnesium present that you don’t need to take as much many anymore.

I would highly recommend having your bloods checked to see where your levels of magnesium are, so consider this my disclaimer. Either be well-read on dosages or have your bloods done, don’t second guess anything, not that you’ll drop dead but just as a precaution for magnesium overdose, but again ensure you do your research. 

Put down the phone 

Switch all electrical devices off and put your mobile into airplane mode 30 minutes before bed. Anything that causes electromagnetic frequency needs to be off as EMF not only affects your health but for sure as hell affects your sleep. Lights stimulate the brain into thinking its daytime and into thinking that your body should be awake, so at the very least dim the lights before bed. Himalayan salt lamps, candles and the nighttime mode on phones all work well. 

 Take a soak 

Take a hot bath or warm shower before bed. This works great two-fold, the warmth relaxes the muscles and body and the heat makes your inner temperature drop meaning it’s easier to sleep. This also applies when having your room nice and cool, we sleep better generally when the room temp is about 15 celsius or less, give or take.

If you get your sleep right then everything you want to achieve with your health, mental wellbeing and body composition will come much easier I can promise you that. So have your nightly routine sorted and see how quickly you fall asleep and how much more energised you feel in the mornings.

You can hear Paul discuss other top health and wellbeing tips on the Taking Care of Business Podcast on iTunes and Spotify.

Looking for a personal trainer? Get in touch with Paul.