Sleep, the best recovery.

Monday March 31, 2014

A common misconception that people have about exercising is that all of your progress is made while you are working out. However, it’s what you do while you’re not exercising that plays a huge role in how you feel and perform while you’re at the gym. There are several factors that contribute to recovery such as mobility, stretching and stress, but the most important is getting adequate amounts of sleep.

Sleep deprivation can lead to a myriad of problems including, but not limited to, hormonal disruptions, impaired cognitive ability, fatigue, and negative impacts on your immune system. Here are some tips to get more, and hopefully better, sleep night in and night out.

  1. No strenuous workouts right before bedtime. The energy boosting effects of a good workout can actually come back to bite you if. Try to avoid working out 3 hours or less prior to when you want to go to bed.
  2. Have a bedtime routine. Create a habit that signals your body that it’s time to power down for the evening. Read a book in bed, do some gentle stretching, or meditate for a few minutes. Try to find something that helps you relax and ready to hit the hay.
  3. Set a bedtime. Harken back to the days of your youth and set yourself a bedtime and stick to it! Is it really worth the staying up an extra 30 minutes to watch another sitcom rerun that you’ve probably seen before?
  4. Record how you feel the next day. Keep a notebook beside the bed and write down when you go to bed and when you wake up as well as how you feel upon waking.
  5. There’s an app for that. Simply browse your smart phones’ app store for sleep applications, as there are plenty to choose from.

To conclude, getting adequate amounts of sleep is not only essential for optimal recovery, but great for overall health and wellness. By incorporating these tips, hopefully you can get more sleep and better results in 2014.