5 Sleep Lessons We Can Learn from Athletes
Professional athletes are a great example of what good nutrition, daily exercise, and enough sleep can do to one’s body and mind. And so, we turn to them to learn about their good sleeping habits and how we, too, can benefit from a good night’s sleep. Here are the 5 best sleep lessons that we can learn from professional athletes.
Why is getting enough sleep important?
Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best things that you can do for your body. Scientists suggest that sufficient sleep is just as important as a well-balanced diet and regular exercise.
Did you know that short sleep duration is one of the great risk factors for obesity? Both children and adults with short sleep duration are more likely to become overweight and obese. And there no denying the fact that a good night’s sleep will result in better productivity, mood, and higher energy levels, thus improving your overall performance at school/work.
Other than obesity, insufficient sleep is linked with a higher risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Diabetes, depression, and poor immune function are all highly probable events as a result of poor sleep.
The 5 sleep lessons that athletes can teach us
A 2011 study showed that basketball players who slept longer experienced a significant improvement in their sleep, accuracy, and overall mental well-being. Getting enough sleep is one of the first lessons that professional athletes learn from their coaches. And here are five important lessons about sleep that they have to teach us about now.
- Sleep hygiene is important
Your bedroom is not the place where a TV belongs to. The light from the TV and your smartphone disrupts your circadian rhythm, hence keeping you awake late at night. Make sure that your bed and pillow are nice and comfortable. This is one of the best investments that you can make. And while you are making new investments, some nice blackout curtains and/or an eye mask are essential as well. The temperature in the bedroom is not supposed to be too high or too low – somewhere between 60 and 70 degrees is considered to be optimal sleeping temperature.
- Develop a sleep schedule
Sit down and write a sleep schedule – one that allows you the needed 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. This will allow the opportunity for the body to regulate its internal clock better, thus improving your sleep quality. A sleep schedule is considered very important in the battle against insomnia and night walking.
- Always prioritize sleep
No matter what you do, always prioritize sleep. It is important to constantly get enough sleep. You will gain no benefit whatsoever if you spend the whole week with only a couple of hours of sleep and sleeping in on the weekend. For athletes, it is almost natural that they prioritize sleep if they want to succeed in their career and this is something that you are highly recommended to do as well.
- A wind-down routine is essential
A wind-down routine can help you relax and get you prepared for bed. It should not be longer than 20-30 minutes, depending on your personal preferences. Maybe you can read a book and mind you that we are thinking of an actual paperback book, not the one on your Kindle or iPad. Doing a quick yoga sequence is a great way to prepare your body for a good night’s sleep as well.
- Avoid stimulating substances
Stimulating substances such as caffeine and alcohol late at night are a big no-no for athletes and you should follow that advice as well. Caffeine’s half-life is around five hours. Knowing that it is important that you drink your last cup at least five hours before bed. Do not forget that the rule applies for green tea as well, since green tea also contains high amounts of caffeine.
Although alcohol may make you feel sleepy, it contributes to feeling groggy and irritated the next morning. Athletes also say no to sleeping pills such as Ambient because of the long list of potentially dangerous effects that these pills may cause.
There are numerous benefits from getting enough sleep and none from partying all night and staying up late. Athletes have figured out how good sleep is benefiting their health, but also their career. And so, we have 5 important sleep lessons that we can learn from athletes themselves. We hope that it is through these lessons that you will be able to improve your sleep quality and benefit as well. Don’t forget to click here for more sleep tips and product reviews for athletes.