Hi Fearless Fam,
How often do you feel yourself dragging throughout the day because you are lacking sleep? Do you need to reach for that 3rd cup of coffee by noon? Is there a running joke about your level of caffeine intake? If you are like me, sleep is probably something that you don’t get enough of. Being someone who wakes up at 5 AM to coach 5 days a week, unless I get in bed by 9 or 10 PM I am under-sleeping most days. I admit that I am not great at getting enough sleep at this point in my life, that is a big fault in my recovery from workouts. If you miss out on a decent bit of sleep like I do, it could be affecting your abilities in the gym and limiting what you can actually do.
Sleep is one of the most important factors for recovery with workouts. Your time spent sleeping is when the body gets to work in rebuilding your muscles that you actively broke down during the workout. Without proper sleep, your brain won’t be as sharp, your movements won’t be as crisp, and you won’t feel your best. We talked about the importance of eating after your workout last week (https://crossfitandfearless.com/the-importance-of-eating-after-a-workout/) , and sleeping is JUST AS IMPORTANT. Without proper sleep, you are not optimizing the gains you get in the gym.
Her are some tips to help you get to sleep easier and sleep better:
- Limit time spent in front of screens for the last hour of your evening – the blue light given off can have a negative effect on melatonin production and natural circadian rhythm. If your phone has a “night” mode, switch it to that.
- Sleep in the Cold – Your body naturally sleeps a bit better in cooler temperatures. Part of the sleeping process is the body naturally cooling itself, so give it some help
- Stretch – Stretching before bed not only feels good, but it helps reduce pain that could cause a bit of discomfort as we are trying to fall asleep.
- Don’t have caffeine too close to bedtime – We are all guilty of this. We are up until 1 or 2AM on a random night and suddenly remember that late afternoon coffee or caffeine laden drink that we had
- Create a routine before bed – Have you heard of Pavlov’s Dogs? Well we can trick ourselves in a similar method. When you create a routine before you go to bed, you can trick your body into thinking it is bedtime through some good old conditioning, just like Pavlov did it.
I cannot stress enough how important sleep is. We have all woke up feeling sluggish and just feeling a bit off for the day. Think back to those days – how many time did you not get enough sleep in?
You should be shooting for around 7-8 hours minimum per night.