Not just for athletes who are worried about their performance, but for any of us trying to generally stay healthy, sleep is extremely important. Sleep allows athletes to recover and rebuild muscle after a tough workout. It’s one of the most important parts of the training process and sometimes, it gets seriously overlooked. Giving sleep it’s fair share of your attention –and time- can be the difference between a solid performance and one you’ll need to sleep off to forget. Here’s some easy tips to help you get your shut-eye in easier.
Turn Off The T.V.
A recent survey found that two-thirds of people in almost every country in the world watch TV their last hour awake before falling asleep. Light emitted from a phone, iPad, television, or computer actually suppresses melatonin production in the body. Melatonin is the hormone that helps regulate our sleep/wake cycle. However, research has shown that reading under a dim light won’t disrupt your brain’s melatonin production. Studies have also show that overall memory improves if you learn right before falling asleep.
Don’t Over Eat.
Give yourself at least 3 hours after you eat to digest your meal before you fall asleep. A full stomach can interrupt good sleep. Plus, the heavier the meal, the longer it takes your stomach to digest the food and settle.
Don’t Under Eat Either.
An empty stomach can interfere with sleep patterns just as badly as going to bed with a stomach that’s too full. If your stomach is empty, it’s going to rumble and keep you awake. If you constantly find yourself hungry before bed, try something like turkey, yogurt, some almonds or cashews. These foods are low in carbs and sugar and they contain tryptophan, which helps with serotonin production and allows you to relax. Gnarly Whey, because it’s low in carbohydrates, would be a great way to stop your stomach from rumbling as well.
Try Drinking A Warm Beverage. Not An Alcoholic One.
While alcohol will cause you to get drowsy, the sleep it brings is often not the same quality you would get without the drink. Alcohol is difficult for your body to process and this generally leads to rough sleep that causes you to wake up frequently -even if you don’t remember waking up during the night. Gulping down too much water before bed can be just as disturbing to your sleep. Plus you may have to wake in the night to use the restroom. However, Chamomile has been shown in studies to improve sleep because it reduces anxiety – allowing you to calm down. The soothing warmth of the tea can actually help calm you as well.