Healthy sleep tips for athletes

February 2-3 is the time for the final stage of the international crossfit tournament Kyiv Battle 2019. The athletes are actively preparing for the competition, and while there is no doubt about the importance of training and nutrition, many athletes make the mistake of overlooking the importance of proper rest. Proper recovery after training sessions will become your advantage in the competition.

The main step of recovery is sleep, which is as important as properly selected training complex.

This article contains the most helpful advice on how to improve your sleep and ensure its positive influence on your recovery

– Keep track of duration of your sleep

Professional athletes may get as much as 15 hours of sleep during periods of intense training. It is during sleep that a somatotropin hormone is produced, which increases overall stamina and increases muscle mass. The lack of sleep, however, stimulates production of cortisol – a hormone that destroys muscle tissue.

– Do not go to sleep on the day when you need to get up

This is a fairly simple recommendation, but it is the one that is overlooked most of the time. Scientists believe that hormonal recovery is more effective in the dark, especially before 24:00. It is during this period that melatonin is produced and restorative processes begin. Therefore, the perfect time for falling asleep is between 22:00 and 22:30. At first you may even need to set up an alarm clock for the time when you need to go to bed.

– No training before going to bed

Trainings before bedtime have low efficiency and interfere with the recovery cycle. It is best to schedule your training sessions for earlier hours, as that would yield much better results.

– Proper nutrition

It is best not to eat a few hours before going to bed. Digestion process may prevent you from going into deep sleep phase, which is the best for your body.

– Monitor air temperature in your bedroom

Air the bedroom before going to bed. Fresh cool air has a positive effect on the process of falling asleep. The temperature of 16-19 degrees Celsius is considered perfect. Of course, this is highly subjective.

– Avoid stress

Stress affects the whole body, including sleep. Try not to watch movies that can keep you stressed at bedtime, and do not read stressful books. Meditation at bedtime may be very helpful, as it would not only relieve stress, but also prepare you for a healthy sleep.

– Turn off smartphones

When it seems that all the recommendations for a healthy sleep are fulfilled, there is a habit of taking your phone to bed with you. You may be scrolling social media or responding to messages. All this keeps you from falling asleep. The bluish glow of the screen causes production of melatonin hormone to stop. Therefore, it’s better to turn off the internet or put your smartphone away an hour before going to bed.

– Make sure you get good sleep the night before the competition

Add 1-2 hours to the usual time of sleep 2 weeks before the competition. Do not go to bed earlier than usual the night before the competition. It seems that it would give you more rest, but it may actually take you a long time to fall asleep, which will cause unnecessary stress for the body. The night before the competitions it is often hard to fall asleep, an athlete mentally imagines how his performance may look and gets nervous. In this case, it is important to go to bed not later than the usual time, and especially no later than 23:00.

– Sleep away from home

Competitions often take place in other cities and even countries. It may be especially uncomfortable to fall asleep in another time zone. Therefore, it is best to arrive a few days early, so that there is time for acclimatization and getting used to the new schedule of the day. And, of course, make sure your hotel room has a comfortable bed.

We hope that our recommendations will improve your sleep and help make it healthier.