So, ironically enough I’m on my phone at 10:51 pm talking to you about how to sleep better… 😝🙄

Here are a few sleep aide supplements for those of you who would like a little more help alongside the sleep ritual. Always contact your trusted health practitioner first before taking any of these and of course use only as directed. Don’t take these with depressants or if you’re on meds or anything… please use common sense. These are meant for sleep deprived humans that are still struggling with sleep rituals. Stay on track and pay attention to week and weekend sleep patterns. You’ll do amazing things with proper zzzs. Just wanna give a big thanks to precision nutrition for the graphic and wisdom.

Sleep tight!

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I feel as though I’m echoing a post I did a year or more ago about how pivotal rest and recovery is to a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle.

Let’s face it, if we don’t sleep well our recovery suffers – both physically and physiologically. Here are some of the things I have found to be helpful in getting (and staying!) asleep.

Pick up magnesium gel and apply it to your neck and legs and any other sore spots before bed 

This stuff is nectar of the Gods. Magnesium is still touted as one of the highest deficiencies (next to Vitamin D) in the average North American diet. This is largely due to our unbelievable abundance and availability of processed food as opposed to raw foods, where the stuff comes from naturally. Apply it directly to the skin to have a higher absorption rate and immediate results. Ever had an Epson salt bath? Magnesium for the soul. Set a few alarms, you’re going be out like a light.

Take a hot shower

Heat increases the body’s ability to naturally produce melatonin, a secret sleepy drug that can help regulate your sleep/wake cycle. A nice hot show right before the sheets leaves me squeaky clean, refreshed and ready for the zzz’s.

Shut down ALL electronics 2 hours prior to your planned bedtime

This allows your body to wind down. White light from screens, tablets and phones, TVs and those super annoying fluorescent lights all trick your body into thinking its go-time. Nicht gut, for mein freunden that are now celebrated “Night Owls” (side note, aren’t most owls nocturnal…? making them all creatures of the night… seems redundant..)

Shut er’ down, read a book or write a poem or something to relax the mind.

ps. Fun Fact! They have done some studies on white light’s response on the body vs. the eye, as some people argued that only if your eyes notice it. However, have you ever randomly woken up when the sunlight cracks through your blinds? Bingo, body sense light, welcome to the circadian rhythm. We’re tuned with the sun. When the moon is out, your lights should be too. Here’s an article that supports this wild claim. 

There we go. Hopefully you fine folks sleep easy and get some rest now. It’s very much a part of the program!

Til next time, sleep tight… I mean, stay sweet!

Peace!

xo

M

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We all know we should sleep. But why? What consequences are there if we don’t?

  • Lack of energy
  • Decreased drive
  • Health problems
  • Decreased immunity
  • Decreased testosterone (big time problem for the gains, bros…)
  • Increased chance of injury
  • poor cognitive function (i.e.. you don’t think good, man)
  • soreness
  • lack of weight management
  • increased stress levels
  • hormonal imbalance

And the list goes on….

I’ve included a sweet little PDF I got from my friends at Precision Nutrition to help you understand how powerful sleep really is. It also gives you strategies to carry forward in increasing your quality of sleep. My favourite night time rituals are unplugging form technology, picking up the journal, scribing some lyrics or my thoughts or my gratitude for the day, grabbing my guitar or practice drumsticks and practicing or just grabbing a book and reading a few chapters while listening to Bach’s Cello Suites. By no means do I have it down perfectly, but each day it gets better and I wake up refreshed and ready to rock!IMG_7327.PNG

Hopefully this gives you a different look and you can implement what works for you one day (or better yet, “night”) at a time!

Thanks for the read!

Here you go. Simply put, sleep is crucial for everyone. Regardless of movement, nutrition or mindset goals. Without it we don’t restore, recharge and rebuild to our full potential.

  1. Growth Hormone is produced in R.E.M – quintessential for the development of lean tissue – a key element of strength training and fat burning
  2. Ideal psychological and physical repair occurs from the hours of 10pm-6am
  3. Sleep loss promotes higher blood pressure, among other health concerns.¹

Here’s a couple fun ways to get better rest. Try em’ out tonight. Or tomorrow. Or as soon as possible if you’re sleep system could be better.

  1. Turn off electronics 2 hours prior to sleep
  2. Rub a few drops of magnesium gel into your neck prior to bed time. Dim the lights and set an alarm or three. You’ll be out cold.

To find out a bit more about the importance  of sleep head to my website http://www.armyofharmony.com and request a consult. For the remainder of August I’m offering FREE Health consults to help bring light to your lifestyle and provide some solutions in the means of movement, nutrition and mindset.

Remember, you don’t need to be a rock star to start, but you need to start in order to become a rock star.Stay sweet, folks.

Mike

 

 

¹Ogawa Y, Kanbayashi T, Saito Y, et al. Total sleep deprivation elevates blood pressure through arterial baroreflex resetting: A study with microneurographic technique. Sleep. 2003;26:986–9.[PubMed]

Attention Musicians: Learn how to sleep on the road here

How do you maintain some sort of consistency to your sleep patterns while you tour from gig to gig across this beautiful nation? I dive into it with Mike Sands, professional session and touring musician on his recent tour with Calgarian blues rocker, Matt Blais. Check the video here: https://youtu.be/HKeCNnPxpmE

While the advice from Mr. Sands provides a bit of comic relief, this topic has been a hot button issue for as long as I have been a touring musician. I have listed my top three pro tricks in order to allow for the most restful sleep to battle the long days, low budget and less than optimal living conditions! Here we go.

Bring your pillow – this will not only help you maintain some sort of familiarity with your lifestyle but it’ll also save your neck. If you don’t have room in the van, make a pillow out of some pants or shirts. To keep your head and neck aligned should be the focus here so you don’t wake up with a crazy kink in the neck for the duration of the tour.

Stay with friends or look into couch surfing – most people know touring musicians don’t make a heck of a lot of money and if you have a well-planned tour you can usually get by in each town/city with the cost effective and generally pretty comfortable couch surfing experience if you don’t happen to have any friends or family in that city

Build a bed – If you’re stuck sleeping on the floor, lay down clothes or sleeping bags or some sort of padding to give you a bit of a makeshift mattress. This will help your body from going numb through the night (speaking from experience). It should also help to keep a bit of body heat instead of releasing into the cold hard floor.

Try it out, see what you think and add any other things you’ve come across in your touring career!

Again, please check out the video here and please subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay in the loop.

 

Thanks for reading, happy touring!

You don’t have to be a rock star to start, but you have to start in order to become a rock star. 

Mike

Ps. Click here if you want tips on surviving the rock star lifestyle delivered right to your mailbox

 

 

Now that it’s official, I can disclose my events of a typical day in the life of my new found (and very exciting!) lifestyle. Basically, for a synopsis, it’s sleep, eat, train, eat again, nap, eat and train again. Repeat. I can’t even describe how much I love it so far.

Here’s today

10am Wake-Up (Not typical, don’t ask about my weekend….)

10:30-11 Breakfast #1

11-12:30 Hang out and relax with Ryan over a tasty Americano, Arrested Development and a bit of a pre-lift breakfast #2/lunch #1

12:30-3 Weights (Day 1 Week 3 Leg Hypertrophy Program), 30′ spin flush and a nice relaxing steam

3:30-5 Laundry, lunch #2, meal prep for tonight and tomorrow (long grain brown rice, mixed veggies and hot chill bbq chicken!)

5:30/6 ish- 7ish Naptime

7-9 Big ride

9-9:30 Din-din

10ish, 10′ Icebath & Bed

It’s early on, I’m sure I’ll tire over the course of the season but it’s an incredible feeling knowing that I am doing this. Finally.

I can’t thank my support team enough. My mom, dad, bro and sis top the list, but then there’s my coaches, Jeff and Shannon and all my friends and extended family that are in my corner. It’s going to be a tough few years for sure, but it’s a lot easier when you’ve got a team like this behind you. Hopefully I’ll be able to share more good news shortly. (just a tease.. I know..)

Thank you.

To close, please, if you can share this link around www.makeachamp.com/dasschwartz it gives me a shot at collecting more funding to be one step closer to it all.

Okay, let’s face it. I’ve been a little dreary of late. I’m able to admit it. Huge life events cause that reaction oftentimes. However, life has shown me the silver lining and I’d like to chat a bit about another passion: fitness and the need to stay on top of that over the holidays!

We all love the treats of the holiday months. Be it the eggnog lattes, the gingerbread cookies or the tasty, hot chocolate… But if gone without reason, things can add up. When things add up we tend to see the sweatpants make the appearances rather than the fitted skinny’s.
Here are three pro tips to help get you past those holiday urges!

1. Moderate cheat meals each week!
That’s right! Allow for yourself or your family to splurge on the dessert, go crazy on the whipped cream on the latte or just plain old Friday night pizza night. I’m a big believer in moderation when it comes to nutrition. So treat yourself once a week if your Monday to Friday daily habits are on par. You’ll be less stressed, well rounded and more tolerable to be around if you can kick back and enjoy a nice glass of eggnog!

2. Run a mile every day!
Yup! Balanced with your regular 4-5x / week of resistance, stretching and cardio programming, adding a mile run will help to keep the excess chocolate off the waistline. Just move. It doesn’t have to be a run. It can be speed walking, rowing, cycling. Anything. Just move!

3. Goal set a tangible goal!
It’s hard to manage what you fail to track.. So maybe set something like buying a new pair of pants a size or two smaller for that New Years party…. Or working your way up to crushing a 500m sprint on the rower sub 1:50……Or maybe just getting those abs back, legs in tune and knee rehabbed for that much anticipated coffee date or welcome home ski trip catch up 😉 – something, anything – to keep the fire lit under your keister.

If you can see through one of these little tips I will bet that you have greater success coming out of the holidays not feeling like a fat kid in a candy shop. You’ll be better able to curb your temptations and feel self accountable! What a great way to start the new year off!
Giver a go!!