How to Get Better Sleep
If you’ve ever Googled “how to get better sleep,” you know just how important sleep is for athletes – and yours is likely suffering. Sleep gives your body and your mind the ability to rest, reset, and recharge. Sleep quality is just as important as quantity. Athletes who suffer chronic or occasional insomnia are more likely to get sick, injured, burned out, and have lower or negative performance gains.
How to Use Sleep to Maximize Your Recovery
Set a Schedule: Set a sleep schedule that you can follow during the entire week – not just Monday through Friday. Sleeping in on the weekends is tempting, but your body performs best when it follows a consistent pattern.
Track It: Consider investing in a wearable that pairs with an app to get a better idea of just how good (or bad) your sleep actually is. Sure, you know roughly how many times you checked the clock or got up to use the restroom, but do you know how much time you spent in deep sleep? There’s an app for that.
Here are some apps we recommend:
What to Avoid Before Bed
Light: Blue light, in particular, disrupts your body’s production of the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate your circadian rhythm. If you are someone who has gone camping and wonders why you go to sleep so much earlier and its better, it’s likely in part because there aren’t artificial lights keeping your body alert.
Multiple sources advise avoiding any blue light-emitting devices an hour before bed. That means your TV, laptop, mobile phone, and tablet should all be put away before you begin winding down. If it isn’t possible to do this, invest in a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses.
Alcohol: Alcohol can help you fall asleep, but ultimately disrupts your REM sleep cycle. Even low amounts of alcohol (fewer than 2 servings a day for me, and 1 serving a day for women) have been shown to decrease sleep quality by nearly 10%. If you track your sleep through a wearable, take note of the days you do and don’t have alcohol to determine its effect. (Source)
Vigorous Exercise: This one is somewhat misleading. Experts have long recommended avoiding exercise late in the day, but recent studies show that exercising moderately an hour or more before bed shouldn’t disrupt sleep. (Source)
How to Get Your Bedroom Ready for Sleep
Bedroom = Sleep: Your bedroom should be used for sleeping and intimacy, period. Remove the TV, exercise equipment, and computer desks as these items encourage activities that distract from sleep.
Darker is Better: Make sure your window coverings sufficiently block exterior lights and use a noise machine or fan to help block noises that can keep you awake.
Make Your Bed: Get in the habit of making your bed either in the morning or before you get into bed for the night. The feeling of a freshly made bed really works wonders. In a recent survey about sleep habits, bed-makers were 20% more likely to report getting a good night’s sleep on most days. (Source)
How to Get Your Body Ready for Sleep
Relaxation: Progressive muscle relaxation to help you relax your entire body once you’re in bed with the lights out. Beginning with the muscles in your face, squeeze (contract) your muscles gently for one to two seconds and then relax. Repeat several times. Use the same technique for other muscle groups, usually in the following sequence (working your way down the body): jaw and neck, shoulders, upper arms, lower arms, fingers, chest, abdomen, buttocks, thighs, calves, and feet. (Source)
Warm Shower or Bath: Taking a 10 minute 40-42.5°C bath or shower 1-2 hours before bedtime significantly shorts the time it takes to fall asleep. (Source)
Meditation Apps: While looking at your mobile phone is discouraged, sleep meditation apps offer guided meditation to help you calm your mind and drift off to sleep peacefully. One popular free app to try is Insight Timer, which has a 5-star rating with over 300,000 reviews in the App Store.
How to Wake up Refreshed
Our CBD oil blend for sleep has athletes waking up refreshed and ready to hit it day after day. Packed with a triple punch of melatonin, water-soluble CBD, and CBN, Venga Super Sleep is an all-natural alternative to other sleep supplements that leave you groggy the next day.
Whether you follow some or all of the advice here, taking steps to improve your sleep will help you accelerate your recovery and improve your athletic performance. After all, you put the hard work in during the day, so your body really deserves the break it needs at night to recover.