Boxing Blog

    I’m stressed out and I need to get some sleep!

    Hey Team,

    Happy Sunday everyone.

    So – today is a bit of a ‘woe is me’ blog.  So apologies in advance for all the crying and complaining that is coming your way.  But I guess there are a few people out there who would say “Well, all you do is complain every time you do a class – we’re used to your complaining!”  To those people?  Well, you might just have a point.

    I am tired and stressed out beyond belief right now.  And the second part (the stress) is not exactly helping the first part (the sleep).  I started trying to write down a bit of an explanation about exactly what is going on – but suffice to say, 7-days a week of work, early to bed, late to sleep, totally redesigned classes in a totally redesigned gym, a new time-table meaning less down-time and fewer opportunities to actually exercise myself plus the usual demands of trying to find members and make payroll – as well as family and footy and a few external events that no-one could have predicted or expected…it’s all taking a toll.

    I use a sleep-app (Sleep Cycle) which I love but it isn’t my friend these days.  Most nights I am getting around 4 hours sleep (in bed around 10pm, up at 4am but restless, restless, restless) and basically, something has got to give (and I am hoping it isn’t my sanity).

    So – I’ve been off researching and reading and here is my 5-step plan to get on top of my sleep (which will hopefully help me get on top of the stress).  I hope if there is anyone out there like me – stressed out and struggling for a good nights sleep – that you might get a point or two as well:

    Caffeine is my ‘thing’, but:

    So – I drink coffee.  Black coffee.  Most of the day.  And evening.  And – generally speaking, it doesn’t stop me sleeping and sleeping well.  But desperate times call for desperate measures.  Or – in my case, semi-desperate measures.

    I’m not going to commit to stop drinking coffee at lunchtime or any of that crazy hokum I hear people talking about.  But I WILL commit to stopping 1-hour earlier than ‘normal’.  Normal for me is around 7pm – from now on (well, in the short-term at least) I am going to bring my last coffee for the day FORWARD by 1-hour…so around 6pm.

    Implement a breathing ‘plan’.

    So – apparently you want to try and trigger a ‘parasympathetic response’ (or so my reading tells me).  The first thing to try is to take 5-7 nasal breaths per minute – apparently that triggers ‘optimal heart-rate variability’ (which apparently is GOOD!).  But you can also try holding each breath for 10-15 seconds which is supposed to have you yawning and ready to close your eyes within 5-10 minutes.

    Hot-Cold Therapy.

    Ideally, this would be a cold (well, cool!) shower then an infa-red sauna then another quick rinse in a cool shower – but given I don’t have an infa-red sauna, cool-warm-cool in the shower is supposed to be enough to trigger a parasympathetic response that will last for several hours and help me STAY asleep (which, if I’m being honest, is the problem right now).

    Soft tissue work.

    Doing some rolling or even simple stretching is another thing that is supposed to help you ‘fall asleep and stay asleep’.  I already have a subscription to MobilityWOD which I could use for my routine, but there are a heap of free options (like Tom Merrick on YouTube) that you could access at no cost.

    Switch my nightly reading to a book instead.

    I read pretty much every night when I go to bed – but I read using the kindle app on my iPAD – which is not ideal…supposedly reading from a phone or tablet increases the time it takes to get ‘good sleep’ by 30-minutes over reading from a book.  And when you are only getting 4-hours sleep anyway, 30-mins extra ‘GOOD’ sleep sounds like gold right now.

    What can I tell you?  There is a lot going on right now and – for whatever reason, things I usually cope OK with are knocking me on my butt right now.  But I have a plan – better sleep = less stress.  And less stress = better sleep.  (I hope),  Wish me luck!

    See you in the gym,



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