Gone are the days when sleep was demonized and seen as a sign of being lazy and weak. There has been intensive research and advances in understanding the human body’s functioning. Therefore we now know that sufficient good quality sleep is essential to leading a healthy life. Hunter Labrada recently shared some important tips to ensure that you get good quality sleep to recover and maintain your energy levels throughout the day.
Labrada is an American professional bodybuilder that competes in the IFBB Pro League Open division. One of the most elite competitors of this era, Labrada entered the top echelons with a fourth-place finish at the 2021 Olympia, leaving behind other top contenders like Nick Walker and William Bonac. He will attempt to dethrone the reigning champion Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay at the 2022 Olympia, scheduled for Dec. 15-18 in Las Vegas, NV.
Labrada shares valuable bodybuilding tips and insights in his ‘Tuesday Tip’ YouTube video series. In the recent video about sleep quality, Labrada stated that good quality sleep is of paramount importance for recovery. This applies to everyone irrespective of whether you are an athlete or not.
The 30-year-old then advised getting a sleep study done if someone has a snoring problem or rapidly depleting energy levels during the day. Labrada faced a similar problem in the previous off-season, and it turned out he had relatively intense sleep apnea.
“Sleep is something that is obviously of absolute paramount importance to your recovery.
Fast forward, I got a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Machine), got fitted… Then the first night I slept with it, I slept five hours and I felt more rested after sleeping five hours than I had sleeping ten previously!”
After using CPAP for a couple of months, Labrada scion claimed to have gained 5-7 pounds of muscle. He also said that his quality of life has improved tremendously since then.
Labrada shares three tips to improve sleep quality
The 30-year-old bodybuilder then explained ways to optimize sleep by making small changes. While sharing the things that made the biggest difference in his life, the 2019 Tampa Pro winner said:
“Try to do nothing but sleep and have sex in your bedroom… Think about it. Whenever you’re in your bedroom, it needs to be for just that. If you routinely argue or do work or do a lot of stuff to get your mind going in the bedroom, subconsciously it is not a room of relaxation anymore. It’s a room where you get sh** done. So, do your best to keep your bedroom, a bedroom.”
Labrada next explained that maintaining a lower core temperature is essential to induce a longer, deeper sleep. Therefore, he advised maintaining colder temperatures in the bedroom at the time of sleeping.
“I keep my house at 66-degree Fahrenheit at night,” he said.
The Labrada scion tackled an issue that most of us in the age of the internet, social media, and content-on-demand struggle with—screen time and light from electronics.
“Another thing that is really good to do, and it’s something I am guilty of, but I am trying to be better about is limiting your exposure to blue light, i.e. light from electronics within three hours of bedtime.”
The bodybuilder recommended following this rule or at least getting blue light-blocking glasses if avoiding screen time in that period is not possible. Labrada then shared some supplements that have helped him get better sleep. Labrada explained that a clinical dose of magnesium can facilitate several functions related to sleep and relaxation.
“But for bodybuilding specifically, magnesium plays a big role in helping muscles relax. So your skeletal muscle tissue as a bodybuilder is going to be super tight from your training. So the magnesium at the end of the day can help relieve that muscle tension,” Labrada added.
He further stated that magnesium combined with melatonin could help induce a deeper sleep. However, he cautioned about melatonin as it can cause lucid dreams.
Hunter Labrada’s efforts to improve his sleep for better recovery show that he is doing everything in his power to make gains and bring a complete package to the 2022 Olympia stage. It will be interesting to see how these things help him improve his standing when the Superbowl of bodybuilding returns to Vegas later this year.
You can watch the full video below, courtesy of Hunter Labrada’s YouTube channel: