Even with a well designed strength training program and your nutrition on point, not getting enough sleep might be holding back your training and performance.
For elite athletes sleep is a crucial part of preparation for sport and an even more crucial part of their recovery from matches and injury. However, for amateur and community level athletes and gym goers, it is a frequently over-looked strategy to improve performance and assist in recovery from injury.
Stretching, ice baths, foam rolling, hydration, nutrient are frequently focused on in recovering from training and games and sleep is often overlooked.
Less sleep has been found to be a risk factor for higher injury rates in adolescents & poor sporting performances. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that Adults get between 7-9 hours sleep per night, and Adolescents should aim for 8-10 hours sleep per night.
If you currently run on less than 8 hours sleep, changing your body’s routine can be a challenge. If this is you, here are 5 key ingredients to getting a quality night’s sleep:
1) 7-9 hours per night and consider naps during the day if less than 7 hours sleep per night.
2) Sleep in cool (but not cold), dark room.
3) Avoid using electronics or personal devices in your bedroom.
4) Limit technology use 1 hour before bed.
5) Reduce caffeine after lunch, and minimise alcohol at night
Mick Hughes is a Physiotherapist and Exercise Physiologist who consults at The Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre, Collins St Melbourne. Mick has a passion for improving treatment outcomes, quality of life and sports performance of my patients and athletes, especially the adolescent age group. Check out his website here and Instagram feed here
For more tips on how to get a good nights sleep read this article from Dr Cris Beer.