How Sleep Benefits Performance
According to the CDC, more than 30% of adults don't get enough sleep at night. It's likely that kids and teenagers have an even higher rate of sleep loss, thanks to their slam packed school and extracurricular schedules. If your kid or teen is an athlete, they desperately need their rest.
You may not realize it, but getting a good night's sleep is one of the best things you can do to be at your best when it comes to the big game. If you are not prioritizing your rest time as much as your exercise time, you are making a huge mistake.
Increased Response Times
Because your brain will be running better after you've had a good night's sleep, you will be able to react faster to whatever is going on around you. This will help you to make those small changes that can really make or break the game around you.
Reduces Risk of Injury and Increases Healing Rate
Your body uses the time while you are asleep to improve your immune system’s response to the bacteria and viruses you come across during the day. it also helps to repair the damage that you do to your muscles while you exercise. This helps you to heal faster if you are injured. If you are not already injured, it can help to reduce your risk of injury by making those muscles strong enough to handle you and by increasing your response times.
Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash
When you are well rested, you are going to have more energy to use both on and off the field. This will make it a lot easier for you to enjoy yourself and to practice hard enough to get better at your sport of choice.
How To Improve Your Sleep and Performance:
Avoid Heavy Exercise Before Bed
In the three to four hours before bedtime, you want to avoid doing any exercise that gets your heart racing. When your heart is racing, your body starts pumping adrenaline through your body. This is what gives you the fun part of exercise, but it will also keep you awake at night. If you want to do exercise before bed try something relaxing like yoga
Make Time For Sleep
It may not seem cool to have a strict bedtime, but it will make your life a whole lot easier in the long term if you keep up with it. Going to bed at the same time every night helps your body to build a routine around sleep and makes it easier to fall asleep once you're in bed.
Optimize Your Sleep Space
Last but not least, you want to make sure that your bedroom is designed to be slept in. This means you need to cut out as many distractions as possible in your sleep space and make sure you’re sleeping on something comfortable. It can be helpful to keep your phone out of the bedroom at night, replacing its alarm function with an actual alarm. This keeps you from getting on your phone in the middle of the night when you can't sleep and will help you to get back to sleep faster