If you’ve ever tossed and turned the whole night before training, you’ll know how much it affects your performance. Like exercise and nutrition, you need a sufficient amount and it needs to be good quality. But of course with the stress and strain of everyday life, that’s easier said than done. Follow our 8 simple life hacks for a stress-free, deep sleep.
Exercise during the day
Exercise will of course make you tired…just not before bed. Intense exercise stimulates your heart, brain and muscles – not what you want when you’re trying to switch off. Try training in the morning or at least 3hrs before bed to get a good snooze.
Get into a routine
Routine is a key factor to success. And this is no different when it comes to sleep. To avoid disturbing your internal body clock, set a time to go to sleep and wake up, then stick to this time every day.
Think light meals and no caffeine
Trying to sleep on an empty stomach isn’t easy. Trying to sleep whilst you’re still trying to digest a huge dinner is just as tough. So always go for the light option and stay away from caffeine in the evening. Its effects last for about 6 hours before starting to disappear.
Stop surfing and set the “bed time” atmosphere
Looking at a bright screen at night can disrupt your body clock and stop your brain from knowing it’s time to fall asleep. Stop surfing, switch off electronic devices at least half an hour to an hour before bed and choose dim lighting for your bedroom. You’ll see how quickly your eyelids will become heavy.
Relax your muscles and your mind
Your muscles need to be as relaxed as your mind to fall asleep. Soak them in a hot bath before bed and allow them to unwind. For your mind, try meditating. It’s been proven to help people relax and increase focus and productivity. Focus on the “Now”, breathe in, breathe out. You might even fall half way through.
Keep your bedroom cool
Athletes often “sleep hot”, due to high physical activity. But your body temperature needs to drop in order to activate the sleeping mechanism so keeping your bedroom between 16°c to 20°c will help.
Have your surroundings clean and smelling fresh
Mess causes stress. So put away laundry, make your bed, open the windows for a bit. By cleaning up your bedroom, you will automatically clear your mind and feel calm and ready to sleep.
It might sound crazy, but sleep requires real effort. Do the hard work now and you'll thank yourself in the morning.