We all know that eating and training right are two of the most important parts of effective training and exercise. But did you know that sleep is perhaps the most important part of your regime when looking to increase performance during training? I know, it almost sounds too good to be true.
According to Paul Lagerwey, Owner at FITstrong gym, getting enough sleep is crucial for athletic performance because it is the only time that your muscles, your heart and your blood vessels get time to repair themselves. Sleep also helps your body maintain a healthy balance of hormones which is essential to staying healthy, vigilant and energetic.
And if this isn’t convincing enough, adequate sleep also supports healthy growth and development. Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues.
So now that you know how important sleep is to your training and performance, here are some tips on how to get enough of it:
- Support your body’s natural rhythm:
Getting in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle is one of the most effective ways to ensure you get adequate sleep. The best way to do this is to get on a regular schedule by going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day; doing this will set your internal clock and improve your quality of sleep.
- Pay attention to what you eat and drink during the day
What you may not know is that what you eat during the day can have a major impact on how well you sleep at night. We suggest you limit the amount of caffeine you consume during the day; avoid big dinners late at night and avoid alcohol before bed.
- Limit daytime naps
Taking a nap can be a very effective way to boost your energy levels during the day, but it is important not to nap for too long. Try limit your naps to 10 – 30 minute power naps, preferably during the middle of the day.
Everyone needs a different amount of sleep which is why it’s important to get to know your body and figure out how much works for you. Getting enough sleep will help you be more productive, feel healthy and give you the energy to put more intensity into your workouts.