Rest, recovery, and sleep are all overlooked topics in the common conversations surrounding training and physical fitness. More often than not we prioritize our diets and strict exercise schedules or goals while blindly overlooking your best training aid available, your SLEEP!
Sleep is an essential part of our health. According to the experts, An average adult (age 26-64) requires between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Although, sleep is not a one size fits all, efficient rest is obviously best. Some of the benefits of a full 7-9 hours include increased energy, heightened awareness, muscle repair and an overall increase in mood. When sleep is disrupted or cut short the body does not have enough time to complete all of the stages needed for body recovery, memory consolidation and the release of hormones regulating energy, growth, and appetite. When we sacrifice our sleep we can often find ourselves less prepared, less motivated, and less engaged in our priorities and activities.
Together with diet and training, sleep makes for a crucial component for our workouts, our physical recovery and future progress towards our goals.
Here are 8 quick tips for overall better quality sleep:
- Read, try yoga, stretching, or meditation before bed to help calm your mind and relax your body.
- Find an ideal pillow. Consider one with a 100% cotton cover (breathable percale weave). This way you’re always sleeping on the cool side.
- Avoid drinking caffeine after your mid-day meal and resist sugary treats too close to bedtime.
- If outside or neighborhood noise is crushing your sleep ability, consider playing light music or purchasing a white noise machine. Your sanity will thank you later.
- Establish a routine to create order, familiarity, and comfort in your night time habits.
- Keep distractions out of the bedroom. Including devices which emit blue light and items that may wake you during a sleep cycle.
- Lavender is a fantastic sleep aid and you can find a variety of lavender scented products for the bedroom (diffusers, waxes, oils, bed sprays). Explore why lavender is the sweet scent of sleep here.
- If you suffer from allergies, a warm shower before bed will wash away any outdoor allergens collected through the day.