Sleep is an integral factor to your overall training plan. A good night’s sleep can be the difference between performing at your peak and missing the mark on an important training day or even in a competition. However, getting good-quality sleep can be easier said than done.
Why Sleep and Performance Go Hand-in-Hand
Getting into the habit of a regular sleep pattern can have a big impact on your mood, which can leave you feeling more motivated to push your body harder and for longer.
At the same time, sleep plays a key role in providing your body with the support it needs to rest, so the muscles you’ve exercised during the day can recover properly.
Tips for Your Bedtime Routine
- Put your phone to sleep: try to avoid your phone (and any other screens) from around an hour before you’d like to go to bed. The artificial light from screens can trick our minds into thinking we’re more aware than we actually are, stopping us from drifting off
- Watch what you eat and drink: try to avoid spicy food and caffeine in the afternoons and evenings, as these could prevent you from getting to sleep
- Relax your mind: meditate, take a long bath or read a book before going to bed to try to switch off your mind from the stresses of your day
- Try a pillow spray: pillow sprays scented with lavender and chamomile have become increasingly popular for inducing a feeling of calm and relaxation at night time to help people get to sleep
What to Eat for Better Sleep
The hormone serotonin can help to make you feel sleepy, which could increase your chance of a good night’s sleep. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to look at including more serotonin-inducing foods in your diet, such as:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Flax seeds
- Salmon (also rich in omega-3)
- Eggs (a fantastic source of protein)
- Turkey (another great source of lean protein)
Why You Need to Avoid Danger Naps
The temptation to nap after a high-intensity training session can be all too real, but in reality, a quick cat nap can leave you feeling disorientated when night time comes around. It’s much better to power through than disrupt your body’s natural sleep cycle.
Instead of catching forty winks, make sure your body is properly hydrated (our Klean Hydration formula can help) or get outside for some fresh air and to keep yourself moving. It might feel like a bit of a challenge, but it’ll be worth it for the proper night’s sleep.