Nowadays, we are quicker to skip out on sleep and chug an energy drink than get a proper sleep. This may be because we are not taught the importance of the sleep. Being the endurance athletes we are, we cannot substitute sleep with anything else. The truth is, without getting quality rest; we will not recovery nearly as well as we would if we get the sleep we need.
After finishing a workout, your focus should switch to the recovery aspect of training. There are two important aspects to recovery: Eating and sleeping. You can give your body all the nutrients it needs but, if you don’t give your body the time to use them in rebuilding, your recovery can be very limited.
There are no real secrets to getting a good night’s rest but, it’s not always easy. Here are some tips to help you get the best sleep possible.
- Naps during the day are never a bad idea; in fact, they are encouraged, especially in the later afternoon.
- Recent studies have shown that a majority of your recovery from everyday activities and workouts occurs within the first two hours of being asleep. This rolls over to why short naps can leave you feeling refreshed and recharged, even if they are only 20-30 minutes long.
- Falling asleep between the hours of ~6PM to 8PM is very difficult. This is because this our natural biorhythm keeps us awake during this time as this was when prehistoric humans would go out to hunt for their food. So, try to go to sleep after these times to endure you will be able to fall asleep.
-Our bodies are flooded with the hormones that jumpstart recovery between ~10PM and 2PM. So, being asleep during these times will help you to get the best recovery.
-As far as waking up goes, out bodies are programmed to wake up from light exposure, not sounds. Therefore, alarm clocks won’t always do a good job and can leave you feeling drowsy and unprepared for the day. It’s not a bad thing to use an alarm clock but, if you can turn it off quickly and then turn on lights or even get sunlight exposure, you will wake up quite a bit easier.
Getting the best sleep is never easy, especially with the time restraints that many of us have. However, if you work to get the most out of your sleep, your recovery will be increased with will allow your performance to increase.