There are a lot of things people can do to get better sleep. By sleeping like a pro, you’ll get the most out of the recovery period offered by rest. You’ll also get some tips, that will eventually feel like no brainers. In this article, we’re giving you five tips to rest like a pro athlete.
Rather than just taking a bunch of supplements that only provide short term solutions. consider changing what you’re doing during the day. Naps are great, occasionally. However, if you make a habit of napping, it ruins your biological clock making it harder to rest at night. Although the naps are just an example, this article is chock full of advice for sleeping and winning like the pros.
Avoid Making a Habit of Napping
The biggest problem with habitual napping is the effects it has on your body long term. If it’s a daytime nap in a brightly lit area, people tend to wake up groggy and disoriented. Some people also reported feeling more tired after a nap.
If you are going to nap, there are two things to keep in mind. The first is to always choose the twenty-minute power nap over the two-hour siesta. This is because you will wake up feeling refreshed and energized. The second thing is to keep naps occasional. This article’s major takeaway shouldn’t be about avoiding naps; instead, a good takeaway would be to nap infrequently and for short durations.
Travel to a Competition a Couple of Days Early
Besides being able to go sightseeing with plenty of energy, by traveling a couple of days in advance, you get used to things like the altitude. If you’re going coast to coast for an event like a Spartan Race, traveling a couple of days in advance can keep you from feeling jet-lagged come the time of the competition.
The time change is also something that is easily overlooked. Because most people train during the morning or mid-afternoon, by changing time zones, this may affect your athletic performance. Multiple studies have looked at how travel affects athletic performance. These studies have found several statistically significant results.
A study published in the 1990s found that west coast NFL teams win more when playing against east coast and central time zone teams, when playing at home. Against east coast teams, west coast teams won 75% of all games. Against central time zone teams, west coast teams won 68.4% of all matches. During the time of this study, if competing in your time zone, the home team won 56.6% of all games.
In MLB games, a similar trend was observed. If a team had a home game against an opponent who traveled across three time zones, there was a 61% chance of winning. Major League Baseball teams who played with no difference in time zones saw that home teams won 54% of all games.
Invest in Quality Bedding
Have you ever thought about why you get better sleep at a hotel or Airbnb than at home? It may be the bedding and not the change of scenery. Hotels offer high-quality sheets, that are laundered before you use them, and use comfy pillows along with high-quality mattresses.
In terms of what the best mattress is, there is not a clear answer. Buy a bed that feels comfortable to lie down on. Mattresses differ in the material and firmness. Beds should also be replaced every five to eight years, and a new mattress reduces back pain, shoulder pain, and stiffness while increasing the quality of sleep.
The best mattress for athletes is going to be those made of high-quality material, that also supports your pressure points. Also, beds that are built with athletes in mind do a great job of keeping you cool as you sleep.
Don’t Eat or Drink Before Going to Bed
When it comes to eating and drinking before bed, try to not eat two or three hours beforehand. This is because, if you eat food and quickly head to bed, your body converts it into fats. Also, your metabolism slows down as you sleep. This affects body processes, including digestion.
Besides snacking, depending on the contents of the meal, this can positively or negatively affect your ability to sleep. Carb Loading is a practice common in endurance athletes like runners and cyclists. This is when people eat a large number of carbs to maximize the number of stored sugars in the body.
If someone eats a high carb meal four hours before going to bed, people can go to sleep faster.
Besides eating, if you drink fluids before going to bed, you may wake up in the middle of the night needing to use the restroom. After using the bathroom, you may have a hard time falling back to sleep.
Avoid Exercising at Night
Before going to bed, try to relax and don’t exercise. When people exercise, the activity stimulates their body. Hormones, like adrenaline, are released that also keep you awake. Adrenaline functions similarly to caffeine and acts as a natural stimulant. Your heart beats faster if there is more adrenaline being released, and you are more alert. An increased amount of adrenaline will make it harder to fall asleep.
Following these suggestions is sure to optimize your quality of sleep. By avoiding food and drink before bed, exercising before sundown, investing in a good mattress, and avoiding the nasty habit of napping, you’re guaranteed an improved sleeping schedule.