Athletes’ schedules and daily fitness regimens include hours of practice, vigorous exercise, a healthy and nutritious diet and a reduction of toxic substances. Among these things, one cannot focus on only one or two and be a pro-level athlete. There has to be a perfect balance according to an individual's body, health, and requirements. However, there is one other aspect of athletes’ or sportsmen’s daily schedule, which is adequate slumber.
Although sleep is essential not just for sports people, many of us are guilty of not getting enough of it. The effects of that can be quite visible in our actions, mood, concentration, energy, diet and health. Thus you cannot neglect sleep and hope to be your most productive self.
Every athlete, fitness fanatic and health enthusiast makes sure to get a good night's slumber because it is our bodies' method of relaxation and renewal. This improves their overall health, supports their bodies and improves their performance as well. Many athletes, to get the highest quality sleep possible, follow some habits. If followed rigorously, these habits will enhance your slumber quality. So let’s dive into the 6 tips to rest like a true athlete.
Invest in quality bedding and mattress
First off, we’ll start with your bed. Your bed includes your mattress, pillows, blankets, comforters and everything else that comes in between. These are things that are specially designed to enhance your slumber and give you the most comfortable relaxation possible. However, there's a possibility you're still sleeping on a mattress that doesn't adequately support your body and meet your requirements. This may have a significant impact on how well you snooze.
So if you really do wish to nap like a pro, buy a mattress and pillow best suited for you. There are many mattress choices available, ranging from latex to orthopedic mattress and from memory foam to pocket spring mattresses. But out of those, you need to pick the one that offers your body the support and comfort it requires to realign and rest. You also need to pick the firmness that allows your body to rest on the bed without sinking in.
Apart from the mattress, buy pillows online that support your neck, head and shoulders. By doing so, you will be able to keep your spine aligned and be able to reduce neck stiffness and strain. Improve your mobility and movement. To get a comfortable night's sleep, choose the mattress accessories that are appropriate for the season and your needs.
Wind down before bed
If you’re like most people, you might be having trouble nodding off in the first place, and even if you do fall asleep you might not have an uninterrupted siesta. This happens when we try to sleep and our mind is not focused on anything, it starts to replay every event and scenario of the day. And instead of relaxing, we become hyperactive and agitated.
To overcome this, athletes generally follow a routine to wind down that may include some calming and relaxing activities, meditation, reading or listening to relaxing music etc. You can also try these activities to unwind. Or you could also do some other relaxing activities of your choice; the purpose is to relax enough to sleep peacefully.
In most cases, it takes 20 to 30 minutes for our mind to calm down and become relaxed before we begin to drowsily drift off. So engage in relaxing activities for 30 minutes. But make sure to choose activities that help to calm down and not the other way around. Also, avoid doing anything that stimulates or energizes you.
Follow a daily schedule or routine
In order to get better sleep, you'll need to follow a sleep routine and get up and go to bed and wake up at the same time. Nearly all athletes follow this rule by heart; they typically get to bed early because they have to wake up early for practice and exercise. Our parents and elders both strongly advise adhering to this rule.
Having a routine can significantly affect your sleep habits and enhance your slumber because our bodies function best with constancy in schedule and predictability. Because of this, if you consistently do something at the same time each day, your body adjusts to the routine, anticipates it, and gets ready for it every day. Your sleep cycle works in a similar way. Therefore, if you get to bed around 12 every night, you will wake up late and, as a result of consistency, your body will adapt to this timetable. You may also find it difficult to go to bed before 12 and wake up early.
So create a sleep schedule that involves getting to bed and getting up on time every day. Set an alert so you can get up early and avoid dozing in. Your body will eventually get used to the new routine; you'll go to bed and wake up at the appropriate times and be able to rest better. However, it will take your body 15 to 20 days to get used to this new routine, so be patient and follow it.
Pay attention to your environment
For a better slumber experience, it is imperative to pay attention to your surroundings and the environment. It is important for your bedroom to be calming and to encourage you to relax and sleep well. For that, make your room as dark as possible; turn off all the lights and use heavy drapes or curtains to block out outside light. You may also use an eye mask to block out any lights.
Remove everything from your room that could make noise and disrupt your sleep; like all gadgets, especially your phone. Further, control your room temperature and make it as comfortable as possible. You can use an air conditioner or heater for that or use quilts and comforters.
You should also declutter your room and remove anything that distracts you, such as furniture, things, clothes, or other things that are not necessary.
Have a balanced diet
Compared to the general population, athletes are more likely to favour a healthful diet and closely monitor their intake in terms of what, when, and how much they consume. They are able to keep the necessary body weight, body fat, and fitness standards thanks to this. Additionally, it enhances their slumber and helps them stay active.
However, you are not required to adhere to their particular diet and can still receive personalized recommendations from dieticians. Alternatively, you could self-maintain your diet. Just keep note of what you consume and begin eating healthy foods frequently. A nutritious diet should contain a variety of high-energy meals, such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins.
Limit your intake of spices, fried, highly greasy, and unhealthy snacks and foods. In particular at dinner. Avoid cigarettes, booze, and caffeine, and abstain from eating after midnight. Eat a balanced dinner instead, at least three hours before retiring to bed.
Aim for 8 hours of slumber
So this might seem obvious, but if you're like the majority of people, you're not receiving enough good rest. Sleep is essential to your body, and especially your brain. Additionally, getting a good night’s sleep will help you be alert, productive, and healthy. While you sleep, your body is working to clear toxins and repair your cells, including your brain cells. According to a research, individuals who slept for at least 8 hours at night had a 36% reduced chance of dying from any cause than those who slept for only 6 hours. Obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are just a few of the health issues that can result from not getting enough slumber. So try to get 8 hours of good slumber.
Sleep is a critical aspect of a healthy lifestyle, especially for professional athletes who need to optimize their performance. As we have seen, there are several ways that pro athletes improve the quality of their sleep, from establishing a consistent sleep schedule to creating a comfortable sleep environment and incorporating relaxation techniques into their pre-bedtime routine and investing in quality mattresses and bedding.
By adopting these six strategies, you can also ensure that you get restorative rest and sleep. Whether you are a professional athlete or someone looking to improve your sleep, these tips can help you establish healthy sleep habits and wake up feeling refreshed and energized. So give it a try, and you can see the positive changes. For buying mattresses and sleep accessories, check out our super active mattresses collection or call our sleep experts to find the best mattress for yourself.