Post and Photos by Seth Litwin
From elite athletes to weekend warriors on the golf course, athletes of all sorts will do anything to improve at their sports. They will practice for hours and spend thousands of dollars on the latest equipment. However, trainers and dieticians everywhere have concluded the thing that increases performance more than hours on the putting green is hours asleep in the bedroom.
Sleep is where your body recovers and heals itself. A great night's sleep keeps your brain working, puts you in a better mood, helps you maintain a ticker healthy, and increases your energy the next day. Sleep steadies blood sugar, fights germs, and keeps your immune system healthy. When you are less tired, you are less hungry and less likely to stop for that cheeseburger and fries.
Getting a good night's sleep is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Doctors recommend about 7-8 hours of sleep a night, but that can change depending on your individual needs. It isn't just doctors who attest to the benefits of sleep; Tom Brady, Quarterback for The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, believes sleep is a huge reason for his longevity and high level of play in the NFL. On his TB12 website, Brady provides a whole list of tips to help you get better sleep. Simple things like no caffeine in the afternoon and using the circadian clock to your advantage. According to Psychology Today, “Circadian rhythms are the cycles that tell the body when to sleep, wake, and eat—the biological and psychological processes that oscillate in predictable patterns each day.” Believe it or not, the best way to take advantage of circadian rhythms is to do what you disliked doing as a kid, go to bed at a set bedtime. Going to sleep at the same time every night and waking up roughly eight hours later allows for better sleep. Getting into a good sleep routine is essential.
On TB12, Brady also touts the reciprocal benefits of sleep and exercise. Your sleep will benefit from getting some type of workout every day and your workout will benefit from a good night’s sleep. This does not have to be some intense exercise; simple workouts will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
We live on our devices and while those have made our lives easier they have not helped our sleep. The light emitted from cell phones, computers, and TV can restrain melatonin. Less melatonin makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Putting devices down 30 minutes before bed will allow for better sleep.
Finally, like everyone else, if athletes are not comfortable, they will not sleep well. Whether you are an athlete or just a sports enthusiast, Down Etc and its team of sleep experts can transform your bed into the oasis of relaxation and recovery that you deserve. From silk pillow cases to a pillow perfect for your sleep style, Down Etc can help you get the sleep that will give you that extra boost you need on the back nine of your club championship. Sleep time should not be sacrificed for other things and the 7-8 hours you do devote to quality sleep will make you feel more energized and refreshed for the next day and the next game.
Have a great night's sleep!
Updated Links July 31, 2022