Athletes tend to often neglect on sleep and recovery. But athletes do not realize that loosing on either can single-handedly halt your gains, increase your risk for injury and hinder processes in your body that regulate, well, pretty much everything. In this blog we are going to focus on how to get a grip on your sleep, learn to optimize your recovery, and organize workouts that promote better muscle recovery and elevate your training.
1. Your brain requires recovery and Sleep gives you more than just rest
Sleep recharges your central nervous system and replenishes your energy stores. Your CNS is responsible for triggering muscle contractions, reaction time, and response to pain. So if you have a deeper and better sleep your CNS can function better. Also, your endocrine system and hormone profile are working while you’re sleeping.These help in secreting hormones, like cortisol and testosterone, that produce protein synthesis (muscle growth)
Hence, without proper rest and restoration, you start degrading muscle growth and recovery, and your central nervous system stops recharging, so you feel tired, unmotivated, and weak in your workouts, causing a negative feedback
2. Quality of Sleep is more important than 8 hours of sleep
Athletes usually say ‘Oh, I get eight to nine hours of sleep; that’s enough,’ The quality of your sleep matters most. You won’t recover as well as if you had six hours of high-quality sleep. Other factors which may harm your good sleep is bad nutrition habits like fatty, spicy, or ultra-processed food at night.
3. No blue light emitting gadgets.
Most athletes like to catch up on checking on chatting apps or social media late at night. The lights emitted from theses devices trick your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. This impacts your body’s natural melatonin levels which help you in putting you off to sleep are going to be pushed down pretty low because your body thinks it needs to be awake. A better way is get off your electronic devices at least one hour before you go to bed, this will help your melatonin levels naturally rise to where they need to be before you go to sleep. During this one hour athletes can meditate, read a book, or talk to another human being for a change. All of these activities can relax you and get your heart rate down.