Sleep – Impact on Recovery and Performance

How much sleep you get and the quality of your sleep has a huge impact on your recovery. 

If you are getting less than 6 hours of sleep each night or are having interrupted/light sleep - your body is not recovering to its full potential. To function optimally, your body needs anywhere from 4-5 hours in deep sleep. You may be under the impression that REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is where you are in your deepest sleep and the best place to be to recover. However, that is not the case! “Deep sleep” is even one step further. This is where your body has the ability to shut down and focus on repairing muscles, storing memories from the day, and producing HGH (human growth hormone).

Your body has the ability to naturally produce HGH at two different points per day, immediately after working out and during deep sleep. 

If you are having trouble sleeping and staying asleep, start with a few easy steps:

  1. Turn off blue lights 30 minutes before bed. i.e Tv, phones, iPads.
  2. Do not work in bed. Bed is for reading, sleeping, and sex. 
  3. Make it a cool environment to sleep. Your sleeping environment should be lower in temperature than your living environment. 

If you are interested in tracking your sleep to pay closer attention to the quality of sleep you are getting - there are a few options!  An activity tracker like a FitBit or Garmin would allow you a bit more insight.  If you have a smartphone or Apple Watch, there’s a great app called Sleep Cycle that you can test out which will track sleep based on movement and breathing. 

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