· By Steven Owens
What you prioritize matters.
Sleep should be your first priority.
Sleep is essential for physical recovery, muscle repair, and overall performance.
Athletes who get enough sleep have been shown to have better endurance, reaction time, and a lower risk of injury. Additionally, sleep can improve mental focus and decision-making abilities, which are critical for success in any sport.
Research has also shown that sufficient sleep can increase energy levels, boost the immune system, and enhance muscle recovery. It is recommended that athletes aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
In addition to getting enough sleep, it is also essential to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can help regulate an athlete's internal clock and improve their overall sleep quality.
The benefits of sleep for athletes cannot be overstated! Prioritizing and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is essential for any athlete looking to improve their performance and reduce their risk of injury.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you're trying to optimize your sleep.
- Go to bed at the same time every night. We are creatures of habit. By going to sleep at the same time every night, your body will know it's time to rest, and you'll fall asleep faster.
- Stop eating 2-3 hours before sleep. This allows plenty of time for your body to digest the last food you ate so it won't disrupt your sleep.
- Develop a bedtime routine that doesn't involve screens. Screens produce blue light, which is the part of the light spectrum most active in our sleep cycle. Stimulation of this part of the brain suppresses melatonin production, making it difficult for many people to "turn off" their brains and fall asleep.
- Wake up to your first alarm. This will start your day off with a WIN instead of starting your day by procrastinating.