Did you know that nearly 70% of Americans report having difficulty sleeping at least a few nights a week? If you’re one of those people who has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you may be wondering how it’s impacting your workout routine.
It turns out that there is a strong connection between sleep and exercise performance. In fact, studies have shown that even a single night of poor sleep can negatively impact your physical activity the following day.
It’s the night before your big workout and you just can’t seem to fall asleep. You’re tossing and turning, your mind is racing, and you’re getting more and more frustrated. But you know that if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, your performance will suffer tomorrow. So what can you do?
There are a few things you can do to try and get some pre-workout shut-eye, even if you’re feeling anxious or stressed.
1. First, try to relax your body and clear your mind by doing some deep breathing exercises.
The 4-7-8 breathing technique is a great way to do this: simply breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, then exhale slowly for 8 seconds. Repeat this cycle a few times and see if it doesn’t help you to relax and drift off to sleep.
2. Secondly, try drinking some chamomile tea before bed. Chamomile has natural calming properties that can help to ease you into a restful sleep.
3. Finally, make sure to establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day will help to regulate your body’s natural sleep rhythm and make it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
4. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we still can’t seem to drift off to sleep. If this happens, it’s important to get up and out of bed. Don’t lie there frustrated and anxious about not being able to sleep – this will only make it harder to fall asleep when you finally do go back to bed. Instead, get up and do something calming, like reading or listening to soft music. Once you feel sleepy again, head back to bed and give it another try.
5. Remember, it’s important to listen to your body and give yourself the time and space to relax before sleep. If you’re finding that you’re still struggling to fall asleep after trying these tips, it may be worth speaking to a doctor or sleep specialist about other things that might be impacting your sleep health.
Things you should never do before bed:
1. Don’t drink caffeine before bed. Caffeine is a stimulant and can make it difficult to fall asleep.
2. Avoid alcohol before bed. Although alcohol may make you feel drowsy, it actually disrupts your sleep cycle and can lead to poorer quality sleep.
3. Don’t exercise before bed. Exercise is a great way to improve your sleep, but it should be done earlier in the day. Exercising close to bedtime can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
4. Don’t work or use electronic devices in bed. These activities can stimulate your brain and make it harder to relax and fall asleep.
5. Avoid eating large meals before bed. Eating a big meal can cause indigestion and make it difficult to sleep. If you’re hungry before bed, try a light snack like yogurt or a piece of fruit.
6. Don’t use your bed for anything other than sleep and sex. If you work in bed or watch TV in bed, your brain will start to associate your bed with being awake. This can make it harder to fall asleep when you actually want to sleep.
Getting a good night’s sleep is important for everyone, but it’s especially crucial if you’re looking to improve your workout performance. So next time you’re having trouble falling asleep before a big workout, try out some of these tips and see if they help you to get the rest you need. Sweet dreams!