Whether you are an athlete or not, to be the best at whatever you do, you first need to get good sleep. Trying to maintain a good sleep pattern and optimizing your recovery should be something everyone thinks about. Follow these 10 sleep prep tips and see if they help:
- Pre-Bed Routine: Try consciously performing the same activities in the same order every night right before bed. Ex: Changing into your pajamas, brushing your teeth, washing your face, and maybe something relaxing like reading, stretching/yoga, meditation/prayer. (However: remember to limit blue screen time before bed)
- Nightly Bathroom Runs: Avoid excessive fluid intake 2 hours before bed to decrease the number of times you have to get up to use the bathroom.
- Reduce caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol consumption right before bed.
- Late Night Meals: Avoid large meals right before bed (If hungry try a small snack instead)
- Bed = Sleep: Train your brain to when you think “bed” you think “sleep.” You may think you already do this but have you ever worked, read a book, watched TV, eaten food, or played video games in bed? This subconsciously associates your bed with other things besides sleep which makes it harder for your body to completely relax and prepare for getting sleep.
- Avoid Stress: Try to avoid stressful conversations/events before and while in bed. If this is a time when stressful events/thoughts come about, try prayer, meditation, or writing your thoughts down.
- Sleep and wake times: Go to sleep and set your alarm to wake up around the same time each day. Give yourself some grace on this one as it is tough but staying relatively consistent does help.
- Exercise Regularly: Just no high intensity training right before bed.
- Wide Awake: If unable to fall asleep within 5-20 min. Get up and walk around for a min or two and then return to bed.
- Nap Time: Try to limit your naps to a max of 30 min and earlier in the day.