As we talked about in the last issue, SLEEP is a huge factor in getting six pack abs. A lack of sleep inhibits fat loss and muscle gain, and saps your motivation to get a six pack.
In case you missed it, you can check it out on the blog here:
We also talked about how it’s critically important that you get 7-8 hours a night, and how you should pay just as much attention to your sleep as you do to your workouts and nutrition.
But I know that can sometimes be easier said than done…so here are 7 simple tips you can use to get more sleep and build more muscle, even if you’re busy and sleep deprived right now:
Tip #1 – Make sleeping 7-8 hours a night one of your major fitness goals
Your sleep cannot be an afterthought in getting six pack abs. It’s critically important, and getting enough sleep needs to be one of your major exercise goals.
And by major, I mean that’s consistently getting enough sleep is just as important as consistently working out, or consistently eating right.
This is one of the big differences between guys who have a six pack and guys who don’t. Guys who have six pack abs treat their sleep seriously, while guys who don’t have a six pack neglect it then get frustrated when they don’t get the results they want.
Tip #2 – Reduce caffeine intake, especially after 6 PM
If you’re having difficulty falling asleep when you go to bed now, it may be because of caffeine. Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system, and makes it more difficult for you to get deep and restful sleep.
If you currently drink a cup or two of coffee in the morning then this should be fine. But caffeine can really hurt you if you are consuming more than two cups of coffee or two energy drinks per day. At this point, you are consuming enough to seriously interfere with your sleep.
Also, avoid consuming caffeine after 6 PM. Drinking caffeine this close to your bedtime will prevent you from getting sleepy, and disrupt your bedtime rhythm.
Tip #3 – Take ZMA
ZMA is a supplement that consists of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. I’ve been using it for about three months now, and I’ve seen great results from it.
ZMA works in two ways. First, if you are deficient in zinc, magnesium, or B6 it will increase your free testosterone levels. Since many athletes who train hard are deficient in these vitamins and minerals, there’s a good chance that it may help you naturally increase your testosterone.
Second, ZMA helps you fall asleep faster, and to have a deeper and more restful sleep. This is the biggest value for me – I never have any trouble sleeping when taking ZMA, and I sleep deeply through the night.
Tip #4 – Avoid drinking alcohol before bed
If you have trouble sleeping, having a drink or two before bed can help you fall asleep faster. But this is a very dangerous habit, because drinking before you sleep significantly degrades the quality of your sleep.
In other words – drinking can knock you out, but it also robs you of the benefits of natural sleep.
If you occasionally go out at night and drink, that’s fine. But if you’re habitually doing it more than 2 nights a week, it can really interfere with your sleep, and therefore with your six pack abs.
Tip #5 – Don’t drink fluids 45 minutes before bed
You should also avoid drinking even non-alcoholic fluids 45 minutes before bed. This is because if you drink too much before bed, you may have to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Waking up during the night like this significantly decreases the QUALITY of your sleep.
This is because of the “phases” we go through when we sleep. We first go through four phases of what’s called NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep. Then we go into deeper, REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.
We cycle through these phases 3-6 times a night, when uninterrupted.
But when you wake up in the middle of the night, your body has to start the phases again from scratch. It can take you up to TWO HOURS to achieve deep sleep again once you wake up. This means that if you wake up during the middle of the night, you’re getting significantly less deep REM sleep.
To preserve the quality of your sleep and to make sure you’re getting the most out of it, avoid waking up during the middle of the night if at all possible.
Tip #6 – Either nap daily, or not at all
I know a few people who have seen great success from a 20 minute daily nap. This can be a great habit, if you do it every day.
However, if napping every day isn’t practical for you, it’s important that you avoid it altogether. This is because if you fall asleep during the day when it’s not a part of your routine, it’s going to make it much harder for you to fall asleep at night.
If you’re tired during the day, find some way to keep yourself awake until nighttime. You’ll fall asleep faster, and sleep deeper than you would if you took the nap.
Tip #7 – Have a sleeping PLAN
The biggest reason for failure in ANYTHING in life is not having a plan for success. Nobody ever achieved success in anything by just doing whatever they felt like, or by following a collection of random tips they read on the internet.
If you want to experience the benefits of consistently high quality sleep for yourself, then you need a plan to make that happen. Otherwise, it’s just going to be another one of those things that you “should do” when you get around to it.
In other words, one of those things that never gets done. It’s human nature.
If you would like access to a simple and easy to follow sleep plan – along with a exercise and nutrition plan for getting six pack abs – you should download your copy of Six Pack Shortcuts:
Six Pack Shortcuts is a video course that shows you exactly how to get defined, muscular abs. It’s the system I used to get my own six pack, and the system I used to get dozens of my clients ripped abs.
Check it out now:
Leave me a comment, and let me know what you thought about this article.