Training is tiring. If you’re like most athletes I know, you’re burning the candle at both ends. Between summer socializing and dialing in your endurance training, the demands on you are high – but are you giving yourself a chance to recover?
Adequate, refreshing sleep is your body’s way of repairing muscle, fighting inflammation and producing hormones and chemicals vital to your full well-being. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your training performance will suffer.
How can sleep be optimized? Well, much like your sport, achieving a restful night’s sleep requires preparation, training and sometimes supplementation.
1) Screen Curfew – Power off your electronics at least 1 hour before bed. Back-lit screens including phones, computers and televisions can impact melatonin production and cause difficulty in falling asleep.
2) Get Some – Turning off your screens a little earlier in the evening gives you more quality time with your significant other, which mayyyyy lead to some extra action in the sack. Sex and specifically orgasm is a powerful relaxant, especially for women. Sneak in some snuggle time and you’ll be hanging out in dreamland before you know it.
3) Keep it Dark – Light pollution is extremely common, especially in big city centres. Draw your blinds and dim your lights or use minimal light sources in the hours after sundown. Doing this helps your body tune in to a more natural rhythm and boosts melatonin production.
4) What is Melatonin Anyway? Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It not only induces sleep, it also has been studied in cancer treatment and prevention. Shift workers have been found to have increased risks of breast cancer due to impaired melatonin production.
5) Stress – If your mind is racing and your to-do list is a mile long, try a guided meditation to assist with relaxation and stress reduction. You’ll find 30 guided meditations here.
6) Supplements – Depending on your lifestyle you MAY need to supplement with melatonin and/or other nutrients and/or herbs based on your specific needs.
There are MANY more lifestyle modifications and treatments that can be used to optimize sleep. Book an appointment with me today to discuss your individualized plan.
Sleep tight and leave your questions in the comments!