The #1 Key For Athlete Recovery
It is easy to get caught up in all the information on the internet about how to train better, eat better and “bio hack” your way to a higher level of performance. At the foundation of everything, is how well you can recover.
The number one thing to help you recover is: SLEEP!
According to research done by the Sleep Foundation, a lack of sleep can lead to higher blood pressure, weight gain, a weaker immune system, and a decrease in cognitive function.
On top of all that, deep sleep triggers the release of hormones that promote healthy growth and increase muscle mass. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, it will take longer to see results from your workouts.
5 Ways To Better Your Sleep
This may be the hardest thing to change, but also the most beneficial. Pairing up 3 or more small tasks that can trigger your brain that it is time to go bed can be really powerful. For example, I like to write down a quick to-do list for the next day, set my alarm for the next morning and then brush my teeth before getting in bed. That quick pattern helps me calm my mind and fall asleep faster.
One thing to pay attention to is your screen time before bed. There is plenty of research showing that less screen time prior to going to bed leads to higher quality sleep.
Most importantly, be consistent with how you get ready for bed and your own habits will come.
Everyone has their own preferences here, but research shows that keeping your dark, clean, and hovering around 65 degrees are all important to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. If you can’t get your room down to 65, taking a hot shower or bath before bed may help stimulate the natural cool down process that takes place when you go to sleep.
In a 2022 study, resistance training 3 times a week was shown to increase the amount of sleep and sleep efficiency more than any other type of exercise.
“All types of exercise are generally beneficial for sleep,” according to Angelique G. Brellenthin, an assistant professor at Iowa State University and the study’s co-author, “But resistance exercise may provide slightly superior benefits, which may be of interest to those who are particularly concerned about their sleep.”
Again, consistency is key here. Do your best to keep your daily pattern the same. Working out too late in the evening could have negative effects on your sleep cycle.
Finally, your nutrition can be detrimental to sleep quality. Here is your reminder to stay away from caffeine and foods/drinks with high sugar content for several hours before you go to bed.
But here’s something you may not know… A poor overall diet can also hinder your sleep. If you are lacking the proper amount of Magnesium, Calcium along with Vitamin D, your sleep will suffer. A 10-year study showed that women are most frequently short on their Magnesium and Calcium intake. For males, Vitamin D was the most common deficiency that led to short sleeps.
Improve your recovery with Max Effort Sleep!
Head Men's Soccer Coach at Transylvania University