Sleep & Rest For Peak Performance Copy
SLEEP & REST
The primary purpose of adopting sports nutrition is to develop optimal health, peak performance, and boost recovery. None of those tasks can happen without adequate sleep and rest.
Sleep Is Fundamental To Recovery
Sleep and nutrition together are an athlete’s fundamental recovery methods yet, are probably the most neglected. Daily training and class schedule demands associated with today’s athletes are a big reason. Regardless of the fact, neglecting one’s sleep should not become a habit. Moral: you can’t out-train a bad diet, and you can’t under-sleep good nutrition.
How Many Hours of Sleep Daily?
As a daily goal, you should try and attain a minimum of 8-10 hours of sleep per day. If you can take a 30-45 minute nap during the day between training sessions, do so. It is vital to keep your sleep rhythmic. Get to bed and wake up around the same time every day. Just because you don’t have practice or training the next day is no reason to stay up all night. Get sleep so you can your body can adapt and recover.
Ways You Can Improve Your Sleep Habits
- Keep A Schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Training your body to sleep on a schedule will leave you feeling more awake and refreshed in morning.
- Make A Ritual. Create a nightly ritual to signal that it is time to sleep. Start the routine about 30 minutes before you lie down to help release stressful thoughts and be ready to sleep when you lie down.
- Exercise Daily. Getting exercise is not a problem if you are an athlete, but you should try to exercise early in the day and never within three hours before bedtime.
- Make Your Bedroom Dark. The contrast between light during the day and dark at night helps reinforce your body’s natural sleeping rhythms.
Download the Rest & Sleep Guide for More Sleep Tips
Sleep Improves Athletic Performance
Research recently published in the Journal of Sleep – and reported in ESPN THE MAGAZINE – is showing how sleep can boost athletic performance. Sleep scientists looked at 11 Stanford basketball players over three seasons. For two to four weeks, the athletes kept to their regular schedules. Then for five to seven weeks, they watched what they drank, took daytime naps, and tried to sleep for 10 hours every night. After increasing their daily rest, the players sprinted faster and said they felt better in practices and games. Their aim got better too. Their three-point shooting jumped 9.2 percentage points, and their free throw percentage increased by nine points.
Track Your Sleep
Sleep is arguably one of the most (if not the most) important health factor that can be altered. One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to ways to track sleep is using your smartphone and the app Sleep Cycle. The Sleep Cycle alarm clock tracks your sleep patterns and helps you keep a regular sleep schedule.
Better Immune Health
Suppression of immune function is another result of poor sleep quality. Research confirms that poorly rested athletes become progressively more susceptible to infection. Worst yet, chronic lack of sleep is associated with increased sports injuries — particularly muscle and tendon. Illness and injuries can halt training for weeks to months. The single most significant factor for improvement in sport is remaining healthy and injury-free so that you can have consistent, uninterrupted training.
- Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. (2007). Sleep, Performance, and Public Safety. Retrieved from Harvard.edu.
- Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. (2007). Twelve Simple Tips to Improve Your Sleep. Retrieved from Harvard.edu.
- National Sleep Foundation. (2015). How Much Sleep Do You Need? Retrieved from nationalsleep.org.
- SleepCycle. How It Works. Retrieved from sleepcycle.com.
- To Sleep, Perchance to Clean (2015). Retrieved from University of Rochester Medical Center.