9 Tips for Better Quality Sleep & Recovery!

recoverySLEEP: #1 FOR RECOVERY

Written by Jeremy Kierez

 

We hear it all the time as coaches!

“I didn’t sleep well last night. I’m so stressed out from work. The kids are keeping me up at night.  My mind is racing when it’s time to go to bed.  I’m tired all day, but when it comes to bed time, I’m wide awake. ”

Sleep plays a major role in athletic performance, our mindset, and how we feel on a day-to-day basis. The quality and amount of sleep are equally as important. REM sleep in particular provides energy to both the brain and body. If sleep is cut short, the body doesn’t have time to repair memory, consolidate memory, and release hormones. So, lets all try to follow these tips and get some better sleep and recovery!

  1. MAKE SLEEP A PRIORITY by having a consistent bedtime and wake schedule (including weekends). I understand if you have a 1 year old (or twin 1 year olds), but try to make it a priority for the whole family as early as possible.
  2. CREATE A BEDTIME ROUTINE THAT IS RELAXING.  Read a book, listen to calming music, take a shower/bath, mobilize, etc.
  3. DARK, QUIET, COMFORTABLE, AND COOL.
  4. REEVALUATE YOUR PILLOW AND BEDDING.  If your mattress is over 5 years old, it may be time for a new one.  Also, you should switch out pillows every 6-12 months.
  5. KEEP WORK MATERIALS, COMPUTERS, TELEVISIONS, OR ANYTHING WITH BRIGHT BLUE LIGHTS OUT OF THE BEDROOM.  Experts say these blue lights mess with our melatonin levels, which then lead to improper sleeps. Even pesky smaller lights (like a cable box or computer screen) can be hindering your sleep.
  6. EXERCISE DAILY, preferably finishing at least 1-2 hours before bed. Anyone reading this on crossfittoybox.com shouldn’t have a problem with this!
  7. IF YOU SLEEP WITH A PARTNER, MAKE SURE THERE IS ADEQUATE ROOM.  If you sleep with a significant other and a dog like I do, then make sure you have plenty of space to move around.
  8. AVOID EATING, ALCOHOL, NICOTINE, AND CAFFEINE CLOSE TO BEDTIME.  These can lead to poor and disruptive REM sleep.
  9. THINK ABOUT USING A ZMA supplement (Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate, Magnesium Aspartate and Vitamin B6). It most often used as a recovery aid for athletes. Studies show that ZMA helps the body achieve deeper levels of REM sleep.  Some ZMA supplements also have melatonin in them as well, which is naturally found in our bodies during the sleep cycle.