“Sleep is extremely important to me – I need to rest and recover in order for the training I do to be absorbed by my body”
– Usain Bolt.
In 2008, Usain Bolt broke records at the Beijing Olympics by being the first person in history to hold both the 100m and 200m world records. By the 2012 Olympics, Bolt became the first man in history to win 6 Olympic gold medals in sprinting.
So what does Bolt consider being the most important part of his daily training regime? YES ! None other than sleep.
Athletes are well aware of the importance of proper training if they want to make progress. They are also aware of the need for proper nutrition. Often given short shrift, though, is the need for recovery from those workouts.
We will discuss the importance of adequate rest between workouts. Since we spend roughly a third of our lives asleep, so it is important that we understand this process more, especially with regard to recovery from physical exercise.
How many hours of sleep are enough for good health?
The amount of sleep you need depends on various factors — especially your age. While sleep needs vary significantly among individuals, for adults, 7 to 9 hours are recommended for well-functioning.
How to strategize for short nights ?
Sometimes it is not possible for you to get all of your required sleep during the night. In that case, there is nothing wrong with taking a nap at some point during the day. A short nap is usually recommended (20-30 minutes) for short-term alertness. This type of nap provides significant benefit for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep.
What happens if you aren’t getting enough sleep?
People who receive less than seven hours of sleep may experience:
Simple tips to help you sleep easier
Raising your blood pressure slightly helps induce sleep. Long, strenuous workouts, like a 30- to 60-minute run, might increase your blood pressure too much and can do the opposite.
Avoid sugars before it gets too close to your normal bedtime.
Try not to consume caffeine close to your bedtime, as it takes up to six hours for your body to eliminate half a cup of coffee, and coffee can increase the number of times you awaken during the night and lower the total amount of sleep time.
If You Have Trouble Going to Sleep, You May be Lacking Magnesium
Magnesium is one of the most powerful relaxation minerals used for improving sleep. It maintains production of hormones during the day such as serotonin (hormone known for mood, appetite and sleep cycle regulation) and hormones that work at night, such as melatonin (which regulates sleep).
Good sources of Magnesium are, Dark Leefy Greens, Nuts and Seeds and Fish.
Proper training, proper nutrition and proper recovery are the triumvirate of athletic success.
Proper Training has always been important, it took years before we realize the importance of the Proper Nutrition, and now we must all be conscious of the importance of the recovery process - especially those hours when we are unconscious.
"Eat, Sleep and Swim. That's All I Can Do."
- Michael Phelps