The importance of sleep for athletes [Infographic]
The right balance of sleep for athletes is essential. We spend a third of our lives asleep and yet so often we don’t pay enough attention to getting enough sleep and the impact this can have on our health. When you’re an athlete, or someone who just loves staying fit, getting your sleeping pattern right can be the “make or break” between a successful training day, or a total wash out.
Below is an infographic to break down some facts on why sleep for athletes is such an important topic.
According to the experts, there are 4 main cycles of sleep.
Stage 1 is Light Sleep
This is where you will still be easy to wake up.
Stage 2 is the Onset of Sleep
This is where your muscles relax and your body temperature drops. Your heart rate and breathing will also slow.
Stage 3 is Restorative Sleep
When you experience this stage your blood pressure drops and your circulatory system is restoring itself. There is more blood flow to your muscles.
Stage 4 is REM sleep
By now you are deeply dreaming and difficult to wake up. Your brain is very active and you will be in “dream sleep”. Want to know how to remember your dreams? Here’s how to remember your dreams in 7 foolproof steps.
Sleep and athletic performance
The patterns of sleep athletes find themselves experiencing may be different to when they were not training as much. Making sure you have an optimal environment for getting a great night’s sleep is a great place to start.
Make sure your room is not too hot, that it is sufficiently dark and that you remove all blinking lights and distracting noises. Set your alarm to train at the same time each morning, as this will aid your sleep routine too. Start the day with a great breakfast, here are the best breakfasts for different types of athletes. Do you feel sick in the morning? Here are some tips to make sure you eat a proper breakfast.
Beds for athletes
If you’re looking for the best mattress for athletes then that’s a good place to begin. For years and years, I slept on a mattress on the floor. Now that I am married, I have a big, firm bed with lovely wedding sheets that is my happy place.