Struggling to maintain focus during a game? Bad sleep hygiene could be the culprit.
What is Good Sleep Hygiene?
Everything you do in the hours leading to sleep that is necessary to experience quality sleep and a refreshed energy during the day.
How can I improve my Sleep Hygiene?
Here are a few ways to start getting better sleep… tonight!
- Eliminate Caffeine 4-6 hrs. before sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant, meaning it will keep you awake. If you drink an energy drink at 5pm and are wondering why you are tossing and turning in bed at 10pm, you may have found your answer.
- Exercise Daily. Going for a walk is great, but you need to increase your heartrate. Aim for 30-45 minutes of daily moderate exercise. Not only will this boost energy, it will signal your body that it needs to rest (sleep). Here are some exercise ideas that will increase your heartrate:
- Outdoors: Jogging, Biking, Hiking, Canoeing
- Indoors: Jumping Jacks, Jogging in Place, Lunges, Body-Weight Squats
- Drink Plenty of Water during the Day. Not only does water have huge effects on sport performance, it can disrupt your sleep. Even being slightly dehydrated can mess with your airways, causing you to snore (which disrupts your sleep… along with everyone else’s).
- Stop screen time 1-2 hrs. before bed. Phones and TV’s give off an artificial ‘blue light’ that suppresses melatonin (hormone that causes sleepiness). When this hormone is suppressed, you are more alert. And, this is obviously a bad time to be alert.
What if I’m not tired?
It’s no fun lying in bed, restless. And staring at the clock isn’t going to help your case. That being said, get up and go to a different room. Read a book, journal, pray. Just remember – don’t pick up your phone as this could delay your ability to fall back asleep.
How long should I sleep?
According to experts, you need about 7-10hrs of sleep per night to function efficiently during the day. And thinking that you can ‘catch up’ on missed sleep on the weekends is a myth.
In conclusion, your body needs rest. And as an athlete, you cannot afford to neglect your sleep. To perform at your peak potential, you need to be alert, focused, and have the energy to compete at all levels of competition.
Authors: Mario Reyes & Mark Keil