A common problem many clients approach me with is difficulty obtaining and maintaining quality sleep. If you’ve suffered from even one poor night of sleep, you know just how miserable the next day can be. When you’re an athlete, the drawbacks pile up even higher. As the old saying goes, growth happens OUTSIDE of the gym rings true here. Our bodies repair (in a basic sense) while we sleep. So not only do we feel moody when our sleep is poor, but our bodies are unable to recover from our workouts.

There are certain things you can do to develop good “sleep hygiene.” By this, I’m referring to a routine to obtain that will set you up for the most successful night of sleep (and on that note - some insomniacs report “performance anxiety”- worry that develops when nighttime falls regarding their anticipated failure of sleep). Developing a routine is important. Going to bed at the same (or similar) time every night, putting electronics away at least an hour before bed, unwinding with a good book, listening to relaxing music, using essential oils, taking a bath, putting on comfortable clothes, dimming the lights, using nicely scented candles, making sure your bed is comfortable, making the room temperature comfortable and drinking decaffeinated teas are all great tactics. Diet wise, limiting caffeine at least six hours before bed, tapering back on water in the last hours (to limit mid-night waking to use the restroom), and limiting large meals and/or sugar near bedtime are helpful. One of my go-to bedtime meals for my clients is typically a client-specific serving of Nectar whey protein isolate with a source of nut butter. I often recommend my clients mix the two together with water, freeze and eat like ice cream. Sometimes a ritualistic pre-bed snack can train your body to know “it’s bedtime,” as well!

In conclusion, rest is important for your mind, body, and spirit. Research shows the risk of several illnesses rises drastically in chronic sleep deprivation. Try these tips if you suffer from occasional sleep issues and let me know if they help! As always, this is not to be taken as medical advice. Please seek the recommendations of your doctor if your sleeplessness persists.

Written by

Anthony Tedesco

Anthony "Antabolic" Tedesco, BEXSc, CPT
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