• Kate Allgood

Tips to improve sleep and increase sports performance

Increase sports performance through getting proper sleep and recovery

Athletes are always looking for ways to get an edge, on of the ways and athlete can increase their sports performance is through sleep. We are starting to really understand fully the importance of sleep and its impact on not just our performance but also health. It used to be about getting little sleep and seeing who could function and perform best with the fewest sleep. It was almost a point of pride. Now people are really starting to take into account the sleep they need and make it a priority.

5 Tips to Improve Sleep

Here are five things to keep in mind if you are looking to get not just good quantity sleep but also good quality sleep.

  1. Regularity: I think this one most people know about. It definitely is one tip that people talk about a lot but can be hard to do. For many athletes this is a difficult one given their schedules, so obviously if you are a professional athlete who’s schedule doesn’t allow for regularity then the other 4 will be very important. For those of you who haven’t heard of this before, regularity is trying to go to bed at the same time each day and wake up at the same time each day. It has been shown that this is highly effective and improves the quality of sleep and helping someone perform at a higher level.

  2. Temperature: This is important because it helps make sure we sleep soundly and throughout the night. Our bodies want to decrease in temperature when sleeping. They have found that having a room that is 65-68 degrees is best.

  3. Darkness: This is not only about darkness while sleeping but also leading up to sleeping. We want to produce melatonin when we are sleeping and if the lights we have on are bright and almost daylight lights, our bodies won’t produce it. So darker lighting leading up to sleep helps us produce melatonin which helps us fall asleep. This is also why they say don’t watch TV or look at your phone right before bed. If you do, try and give yourself 30mins between the last time you look at a screen and when you try and fall asleep.

  4. Walk it out: If you are having trouble sleeping. Don’t just sit in bed or toss and turn. Get up and go somewhere else. Walking around can help, if you like to read make sure to read somewhere other than your bedroom.

  5. No caffeine: Caffeine has a 12 hour 1/4 life. Meaning, 12 hours after you have taken caffeine you still have a 1/4 of it in your body. This will impact your ability to fall asleep and to have a high quality sleep. This then generally leads to someone needing more caffeine the next day, and a cycle is created. Try your best to not have caffeine and if you do, make sure you have it more than 12 hours before you plan to go to bed.

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