Athletes often experience rigorous training routines and schedules that can leave them with fewer hours of sleep per day than their bodies need to perform and recover. Athletes need a tremendous amount of sleep, more than the average person, in order to train effectively, recover sufficiently, and perform optimally. Here are some tips to help you get the sleep you need to give you a competitive edge:
- Cue your body for sleep – Bedtime routines are a very important step for athletes to wind down and cue their bodies that sleep is around the corner. Doing a few things in succession before you go to bed every night will train your body that it is time to get into sleep mode, allowing for sleep to come easier. This is especially useful for athletes that travel and are spending much of their time in strange beds. A bedtime routine can be taken anywhere.
- Schedule Recovery Days – Sleep is the only time that we are able to passively recover; therefore, adequate rest should be a component of every athletes training regime. Our bodies heal itself better than anything else, and often we are not spending enough time sleeping to allow for sufficient recovery. This leads to increased risk of injury, slower recovery time from injuries, week immune systems, poor performance, burnout and ultimately shorter playing careers.
- Allow enough time for sleep – Set up a proper schedule that fulfills your basal sleep requirements (the amount of sleep you need to feel your best). Planning hours of sleep into your training regime will ensure that you are getting the sleep you need each and every day.
Are you are having trouble getting the sleep you need to be at your best? We are here to help. Check out our website www.sleepwellconsulting.ca for more information and request a consult.