Optimize Your Sleep For Better Performance

Written by Jamie Susino

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October 14, 2021

Optimize Your Sleep For Better Performance

By Coach Jamie

If you know anything about me, you know I cherish my bedtime routine and sleep! Like most people, I hate being tired. It can make even the simplest task harder and an already difficult task feel nearly impossible. Without proper sleep, trudging through the day takes extra time and focus. Getting yourself to the gym and feeling strong throughout a training session or a class can feel hard enough, even on a well-rested day. So how do we ensure we are doing everything to make sure we get enough recovery and rest each night? Make it a priority! When you put sleep at the top of your priority list, you will no doubt see improvements in other aspects of your life.

  1. Prioritize Sleep

    Figure out how much sleep you need to feel well-rested and set a deadline for yourself to be in bed. Some people may need 8+ hours while others may feel really great after a solid 6-7 hours of quality sleep. Once you have an idea of this, make it your prime concern in the evening hours. Give yourself an earlier deadline to be ready and IN BED. It might mean DVRing that show you love and saving it for another night or leaving an event a little bit earlier than you’d like. The benefits will likely outweigh the FOMO you may be experiencing.

  2. Environment is EVERYTHING

    Make sure you have created the right ambience for a relaxing sleep situation! A cool, dark room is ideal. Make sure you can block out any light – black out curtains or a sleep mask can be an awesome addition to your sleep routine! Tidy up before bed! A clean and comforting room can do wonders for relaxation. Aromatherapy can also be an incredibly useful tool to help ease stress and lull you into a state of sleep. Find a scent you like and invest in some essential oils and a diffuser or other similar tool.

  3. Ditch the Phone!

    Turn the TV off and stop scrolling Instagram. Not only can the blue light emitted from a monitor disrupt your circadian rhythm, but that “mindless scrolling” or “mindless television show” may not actually be mindless at all. You’re keeping your brain engaged whether you realize it or not. Give your mind some time to wind down before bed. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb, read a book, or try listening to a guided meditation. Insight Timer and Headspace are great apps to help you explore meditation and find a state of relaxation. You’re likely to fall asleep faster and get better quality sleep overall.

  4. Mobility Work

    Dedicating even a few minutes before bedtime to stretching or soft tissue release (massage or foam rolling) will help initiate the parasympathetic response and help your body segue into relaxation mode! Bonus: on top of contributing to your sleep, you’ll contribute to muscle recovery! Taking care of your muscles before they get tight during your 6-8 hours in bed will help you wake up feeling less sore/tight from the previous day’s workout! Develop a quick routine that you can stick to (or check out our Instagram for some short quarantine yoga videos!)

Sleep is pretty high up there on the hierarchy of things that will not only improve your overall quality of life but also your performance at the gym. Ultimately, we need proper rest to see those gains! Make it a priority for a few weeks and take note of all the positive changes you see that come from being well-rested and ready to take on the day both mentally and physically. Make bedtime your favorite time of day and reap the benefits

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