Getting adequate sleep is an essential component to optimizing your health and performance. Sleep is the most anabolic (e.g. building muscle tissue, adding new mitochondria) time there is.
The Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology recommends adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Having more sleep (i.e. >7 hours per night) increases your ability to fight the common cold virus.
Not getting enough sleep can lead to:
– greater susceptibility to sickness
– reduced physical and psychological performance
– reduced motivation, learning ability, and memory
– increase in anxiety, irritability, and mistakes
– increase in body fat percentage
-poor judgement of distance, speed and/or time
-increased risk of injury and reduced pain threshold
Ideas to get a restful nights sleep on a consistent basis:
– Set an alarm in the evening to indicate it is “time to get ready for bed” (a consistent bedtime is key!).
– Avoid any screens 1-hour prior to bed (i.e. phones, computers, tablets, etc.,).
– Avoid consuming caffeine in the afternoon/evening.
– Limit food intake up to three hours prior to bedtime.
– Try doing something calming and relaxing (e.g. reading, meditation, gentle stretching, writing down your agenda on paper for the following day, etc.,).
– Use blackout blinds/curtains to have the room dark as possible.
– White noise can help.
– Have the room at a cooler temperature (e.g. under 19 degrees C).
Sleep and nutrition are the two fundamental elements critical to the recovery process. Take the time to build a healthy sleep routine, and couple it with sound nutrition, and you will never look back!