Get Good at Sleeping

Sleeping

“You can go weeks without eating but you can only go 11 days without sleep or else you’ll be asleep…..forever!”

One of the most overlooked aspects of athletic performance is sleeping. Just how important is sleep? According to Mark Rosekind, PhD, president of Alertness Solutions and a former NASA scientist, “There are lab studies that show that if you’re an eight-hour sleeper and you get six hours of sleep, that two-hour difference can impact your performance so that it equates to how you would perform if you had a 0.05 blood-alcohol level.” There is an overwhelming amount of research that shows a lack of sleep strongly affects athletic performance in a negative manner. So, let’s take a look at my top 10 tips/habits of good sleepers because after all, you’re going to spend 1/3rd of your life sleeping so you may as well get good at it!

  • Go to bed and wake up at relatively the same time every day, even the weekends!
  • Mask noise that could disrupt your sleep by running a fan in the background
  • Keep the room cooler, if you’re in a warm environment, your body won’t be able to efficiently lose body heat and you will sleep poorly
  • Keep the room dark
  • Don’t hit the snooze button upon waking
  • Eliminate exposure to blue light when it’s dark outside
  • When falling asleep use diaphragm breathing to alleviate the stress of the day
  • Plan your hydration so that you don’t have to wake up during the night to urinate
  • Don’t eat anything within 90 minutes of going to bed
  • Don’t use sleep medication, this will throw off your sleeping cycles
  • Establish a “winding down” routine before you go to bed

-Dr. Brian Damhoff