Healthy sleep is a prerequisite for success in both sports and your everyday life. Only with sufficient sleep can you tap into your full mental and physical potential.
The Importance of Sleep
High-quality sleep leads to a higher quality of life. Sufficient shut-eye is particularly important for active people, as sleep and regeneration are essential for performance and fitness. If you get too little sleep, not only your well-being, but also your fitness performance will decrease.
Why We Need Sleep
It’s recommended to sleep between seven and nine hours per night for your body to best recover. During this time, your brain regenerates, metabolic products are eliminated and your cerebral cortex gets a break to prevent stimulus satiation. When sleeping, your entire organism can recover from your daily routine as well as your workouts.
Physical activity improves your sleep. Enough sleep improves your physical activities.
Sports & Sleep
The deeper your sleep, the better your fitness performance. That’s what a US-American scientist found in her studies on numerous sports types with regard to sleep. Especially deep sleep phases increase after physical activity. Too little sleep, on the other hand, reduces coordination, endurance and speed. If you don’t grant your body enough breaks to recover, your fitness performance will deteriorate.
Everything You Need to Know About Sleep
Above all, it’s your personal sleep need that counts. How much sleep one needs also depends on age and changes over the course of life. Plus, the focus should not lie on time you spend sleeping, but rather on your sleep quality. Long deep sleep phases indicate a better recovery. Growth hormones responsible for muscle growth are produced during these phases, allowing your immune system to regenerate even better.
Sleep & Nutrition
If you struggle to fall asleep or sleep through the night, you should do without coffee and other stimulating drinks and foods, like black or green tea, chocolate, cocoa and energy drinks, starting in the afternoon. Caffeine stays in your system and is effective for up to seven hours. Alcohol can also reduce sleep quality. While after a couple drinks you might fall asleep easier, your deep sleep phases and, therefore, your sleep quality will suffer. Last but not least, raw vegetables and fatty foods can sit heavily in your stomach and can prevent your body from resting due to the digestive work it has to do. So, opt for a lean protein and some steamed vegetables for dinner to ensure a good night’s sleep.
6 Useful Tips for A Good Night’s Sleep
- Follow your natural rhythm. Stick to a bedtime schedule. These kinds of rituals have a calming effect on your body.
- Create ideal settings. Cool surroundings boost sleep quality. Ventilate your bedroom before bedtime for the ideal sleeping temperature.
- No dinner right before bedtime. Plan your dinner for a time that allows for a one to two hour break before going to bed.
- Relax! Take your time to unwind before bedtime to reduce tension and avoid stress keeping you up all night. Try a hot bath, a sauna session, yoga, or breathing exercises.
- Enjoy a nightcap. Whether it’s a herbal infusion, milk & honey or your granny’s secret recipe, warm drinks help you relax and are soothing for body & soul.
- Ban your sorrows from the bedroom. Let go of all your problems before entering your bedroom and sleep tight!