For the most part, exercise (like weightlifting) can improve your sleep quality and duration. However, it is common to see your sleep habits disrupted as a result of aggressive exercise and that can impact your recovery. Some studies suggest that excessive or aggressive exercise can overstimulate the bodies natural stress responses and stress hormones, leading to an increased heart rate and alertness. Throw into the mix a pre-workout Fast Twitch RTD and you could have trouble falling asleep missing critical recovery gains as result. We have pulled some tips that you can implement TONIGHT to dramatically change your sleep habits and improve your recovery.
Tip #1 - Lighting
Reduce blue light. Blue light is emitted from the screens of our beloved electronic devices and can limit the production and release of melatonin. What is Melatonin? Melatonin is a chemical that signals to our brain and body that it is time to go night night. If you MUST use your phone, computer or binge the latest Game Of Thrones episode before falling asleep, consider a pair of amber glasses or use Night Shift mode on your Iphone.
Another effective tool is to 'black out' your sleeping area. The darker the room, the sweeter the melatonin.
Tip #2 - Routine
Establish a routine before bed and include an action that signifies bedtime. As a college athlete, my sports psychologist recommended specific actions to change from athlete to student in order to help focus on my school work. For example, changing out my gym clothes and into regular clothes signified it was time to study. As an athlete now, I have continued a routine that includes stretching, rehab exercises and protein shake before bed.
Tip #3 - Meditate
The power of mediation is no joke. Some may believe that meditation is some sort of hocus pocus but many of the best athletes in the world include some form of meditation in their training routine. Personally, I have begun including meditation before bed. I focus on my breathing and do a mental check in, starting with my head and down to my toes. Since starting my five minute meditation routine, I have been able to fall asleep on my back, something that I previously was not capable of doing before.
Tip #4 - Temperature
There is an expanding amount of research that show a cooler bedroom temperature can lead to improved sleeping habits. On the other side of the coin, some have gone as far as suggesting some forms of insomnia are rooted in poor body temperature regulation. It is recommended that your bedroom temperature lie somewhere around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you are someone who runs hot when they sleep, your feet can act as your body’s thermo regulator. Your feet help to release excess body heat so leave them uncovered during the night.
Have any sleeping tips of your own? Share in the comments below!