Sleeping well and workouts regularly are one of the most important parts of the healthy lifestyle.
Sleep is not only necessary to function well, but it helps with sports recovery and healing too!
If you’ve been around, you probably know I work out regularly and injure from time to time.
Workout recovery and quick healing are crucial in any sport or activity.
So here are some tips from me and Casper® to Sleep Like An Athlete!
Disclosure: Although I included content from Casper in this post, I was not compensated in any way nor received a sample. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.
Sleep Like An Athlete
To start with what you can do during the day:
1. Work out regularly:
15-30 minutes daily or every other day is great, but 30-60 minutes workouts are the ideal. It doesn’t only keep you in shape, and help you stay healthy, but reduce stress as well. Since stress is one of the most frequent reasons for the lack of sleep, it’s important to reduce it on daily basis.
2. Reduce or give up long naps:
Taking a long nap during a long day can be tempting, but all in all, you’ll have trouble to sleep at night if you give in. Instead of a 45-60 minutes nap, have a quick, 15-20 minute power nap if you really need one! This way you’ll have enough energy to keep going on, but you don’t sleep enough to ruin your sleeping pattern.
Here I have to mention the case if you’re about to have a competition or race. It’s most likely you won’t have a relaxing, full night sleep because of the excitement. In this case, have a couple of power naps during the day before the event!
3. Don’t drink caffeine and alcohol at late afternoon, and after that:
Maybe a 5 pm coffee sounds divine if you still have to work for a few hours. But try to resist, because when you finally finish your work and ready to get in bed, you most likely won’t be able to fall asleep, or stay asleep.
Same with the alcohol. It makes you sleepy, but don’t let it fool you. You’ll fall asleep fast, but just as fast as that, you’ll wake up and have trouble to fall asleep again.
4. Avoid heavy and spicy meals close to your bedtime:
Heavy and spicy meals are amazing and delicious. But try to have them during the day, for lunch and not for dinner. Your digestive system will go crazy all night, which can cause serious trouble with sleeping.
5. Drink (herbal) tea:
Drink a cup of tea can help you relax, help your digestion and help you with sleeping troubles. Like this: chamomile tea, green tea, ginger tea, turmeric tea.
But make sure you drink your tea at least an hour before your bedtime unless you want to wake up every hour or two for bathroom breaks.
6. Think through your day:
Before you finally get ready for bed, think through your day. Summarize it if you can and write a to-do list for the next day. Also, if something bothering you write it down or talk it out!Here are some tips from me and Casper to Sleep Like An Athlete! #SleepLikeAnAthlete Click To Tweet
Finally what you can do before sleep:
7. Stretch or do yoga before bed:
There’s nothing better than a relaxing and stretching yoga at the end of the day. This is where you can empty your mind and relax your body! From this point, you shouldn’t worry about anything (I know it’s hard, but give it a try!)!
8. Have a relaxing hot bath:
Having a hot bath (or a long shower, if you prefer that) is an excellent way to relax your body. It’ll raise your body temperature, relax your muscles. Use Epsom salt for detox bath, or a bath bomb (which smells amazing and smooth your skin too)! Here you can read a book, listen to some music or just close your eyes (do not fall asleep in the bathtub!) and enjoy your time.
9. Exercise breathing:
Most of the time we don’t even think how superficially we breathe. Deep breathing helps your body to detoxify, it releases tension and anxiety, increases your blood oxygen level (obviously) and lowers your heart rate, all in all, helps you relax. Here is an amazing gif that helps you exercise deep breathing:
Breath in as the shapes bloom and breath out as the shapes fold in again. It truly helped me with anxiety and stress release so many times.
10. Find out your ideal room temperature:
Most people find a nice, cool room perfect for sleeping. But the right temperature is different for everyone. As I asked around, some people told me, they like their room around 15-18°C (59-64°F), others, just like me, like a little warmer 19-21°C (66-69°F). Try to find your ideal temperature!
11. Use the right mattress and bedding:
Using the right mattress and bedding are crucial to have a relaxing and comfortable night sleep. Once again, the ideal mattress, bedding, and pillows are different for everyone. Write down your preferences and find your ideal mattress and bedding. A great place to start is the Casper site.
12. Dark room:
Closing the shades and turn off any light will help you stay asleep. Otherwise, your brain will think that the light is natural and you have to wake up. I personally love to have a LED string on, even at night, but I use an eye mask to keep me asleep during the night.
13. White noise/ASMR:
Some people strictly against electronics in the bedroom and some can’t stand any noise during their sleep. Well, I’m most certainly not in those groups. I don’t mind electronics in my bedroom, nor they caused any problem to me, like, ever. But I do need some white noise, like a thunderstorm, rain, or driving noise to sleep, I always did. But like I said before, it depends on you, find out if these noises are helping or bothering your sleep! If it helps, use a white noise machine (or like me, use Youtube), if it bothers, use earplugs!
14. Consistent bedtime:
And we arrived at the most important step. Create a consistent sleeping pattern!
If you get to the bed around the same time every day and do the previous steps every day, your body will get used to them, and recognize them as a preparation for sleeping. In a week or two, your body will be more relaxed as your bedtime approaching.
Proper recovery and quicker healing from and injury are really important for me!
Before and between raising the intensity or length of a workout, I try to listen to my body if it’s ready for the next level.
Sometimes you’ll feel like you have to take a day or two off, to have a little more time to recover from the previous workout, then do it, you won’t regret not injuring!
Well rested body and mind perform better and the reaction time will reduce!Well rested body and mind perform better and the reaction time will reduce! Click To Tweet
All in all, my pro tip is to “Always listen to your body”! Even if it’s about workout, recovery or relax and sleep!
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Thanks for sharing this helpful information. I’m sure most people can take notes from this article. One thing most athlete lack knowledge for proper sleep. Well, this post gives some good ideas for proper sleeping.
Hi, Thanks for your great article. Actually, Maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up time. “Our bodies like regularity and will anticipate sleep with a regular sleep schedule, As a reminder, set a daily alarm on your phone to go off 30 minutes before you want to start your wind-down routine.
Hi John, I’m happy that you found the article interesting!
Hi, Thanks for sharing the informative and helpful article. Yes right, there must be proper time of sleep. Our body gets lazy due to lack of sleep.