A big part of being able to optimise performance is to be able get a good nights sleep. Nutrition can definitely help your body achieve proper recovery, however sleep is essential if you are to ensure this happens efficiently.
Here are some tips to get a good night's sleep:
- No caffeinated drinks at least five hours prior to when you normally go to sleep (this is rule of thumb; however, it does depend on your sensitivity to caffeine). Excess sugar in the system can also affect how and when you fall asleep. Use real food sports nutrition to optimise your performance during the day, however once your sleeping time rolls around, make sure to stay away from any sugary drinks as this could effect your normal sleep cycle.
- Turn off the lights. The very devices that help us connect and get more out of our day have no place in the sleep realm. These you phone, laptop and television. These artificial blue light sources stop your body from recognising that the sun has gone down and in turn keep you up. By removing these lights, you can optimise your body’s ability to follow it's proper protocol of sleep.
- Create a schedule for when you sleep. By going to sleep at the same time every day, you give your body cues as to when to fall asleep. Optimise your performance in every aspect of life, sleep included.
- Being physically active during the day can help as well. If you do this, then by the time bedtime
- Meditation! This is a big one and is not as scary as made out. Meditation is the act of focusing on one thing and allowing your mind to let the rest fade away.
EXERCISE: Try focusing on your breathe; the sensation of the air passing in and our of your nose. Take deep breaths to increase focus and then let yourself go back to your normal breath rhythm. Your mind will naturally wander, if you find this happens then simply acknowledge it and bring you focus back to the breath. CONGRATS, YOU'RE MEDITATING! Not so hard right?!?
Real Food Options for Helping Induce Restful Sleep.
- Magnesium plays a huge role in helping your body wind down and relax
- Valerian Root Tea has also been shown to help induce restful sleep
- Chamomile Tea has been shown to increase restful sleep
- Kava has been shown to help relax your muscles