Sleep = Better Performance
Sleep is easily one of the best things you can do for your performance! And yet it can get pretty low on an athlete's priority list.
My goal is to try to change that!
I am all about finding SIMPLE ways that athletes can improve their performance, and this definitely falls into that category.
Why is sleep so important?
It improves immune function
It is when your body (and brain) get a chance to recover
It's when your body repairs itself
It helps improve your concentration, decision making ability and reaction time
It reduces fatigue (no brainer) which helps with power and force outputs.
(Also for you student athletes - this is when your brain consolidates knowledge/memory so instead of pulling an all nighter, get some sleep!)
Sleep also can affect pain levels! Poor sleep = more likely to experience pain. More pain means you're going to have a bad time.
OK, so we've established it's important, now the question is - how can you capitalize on all this and get better sleep?
Tips for a Better Sleep:
Get a routine. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (don't let it get too off-schedule even on the weekends).
No screen time right before bed. The bright lights can mess with your circadian rhythm and make it difficult to fall asleep. Try to avoid it for the hour before bed.
Darker is better. Again, to help with that circadian rhythm, make the room as dark as you can to let your body know it's time to sleep.
Cooler is better. We tend to sleep better when it's cooler.
Do something relaxing before bed. Try working on your deep breathing, bed yoga (my new personal favorite), reading, etc...to help your mind wind down before bed.
Give these guys a try and see what happens! If you are still really struggling it may be worth while asking your family MD to look into it.