Sleep and rest days are critical for athlete recovery and peak performance. This is the time when muscles repair and recover from exercise and day to day activities. Not getting enough sleep may mean your body is not repairing properly, which can negatively impact performance. Most adults need 7-8 hours a day, while teens may need up to 10 hours.
Sleep and Rest
Benefits of a sleep routine:
- Improved concentration – lack of sleep can impact how you learn, work and think.
- Improved memory – your brain is ‘filing’ what it learned that day during sleep.
- Lower risk of chronic diseases like obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
- Improved immunity
- Stick to a routine – go to bed and wake up at the same time.
- Avoid screens (TV, phone, computer) an hour before bedtime.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed.
- Sleep in a dark, cool bedroom.
- Try meditation or reading before sleep.
- Enjoy physical activity in nature (when possible) daily.
- If you nap, limit to 25 minutes or less to avoid disrupting nighttime sleep.
- A warm glass of milk has been known to aid sleep and studies show dairy protein helps muscles recover while you sleep.
Rest days are important, too! Over training may lead to fatigue and decrease performance. Give your body 1-2 days a week to rest or try active recovery like light cardio or foam rolling.