Sleep is a vital key to recovery and overall health, especially for those who are training. As you sleep, your blood pressure decreases, your breathing becomes slower, muscles become relaxed and blood supply to muscle increases. This all leads to greater tissue growth and muscle repair. According to the national sleep foundation we spend up to one third of our lives asleep. I know for myself, I need my sleep and I know when I haven’t slept well when I am reaching for my second cup of coffee before 10am.
Sleep needs are greatly impacted by individual’s lifestyles, health and wellness.
Everyone is different and has different sleep patterns. Sleep needs are greatly impacted by individual’s lifestyles, health and wellness. BUT on average the recommended amount of sleep can be broken down by age. As stated by the national sleep foundation, children ages 6-13 need on average 9-11 hours of sleep. Teenagers ages 14-17 need on average 8-10 hours of sleep. Young adults ages 18-25 need an average of 7-9 hours. Adults ages 26-64 need an average of 7-9 hours of sleep as well. Older adults ages 65 years and up need an average of 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
Most of us are not getting the recommended amount of sleep per night. This can be affected by stimulants such as consuming coffee, energy drinks, alarm clocks, external lights especially those from electronic devices. These factors have an effect on our circadian rhythm or our internal sleep cycle. There are apps for both cell phones and computers that reduce the blue light lessening its effect on our eyes after the sun has set. Utilizing these apps can aid in reducing the effect that the blue light has on our bodies especially late at night.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself about your sleep:
Are you productive, healthy and energetic?
Are you sleeping 7 to 9 hours?
Are you experiencing sleep problems?
Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day?
Do you feel tired while driving?
Here are a few tips to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep:
Stick to a sleep schedule even on days off and weekends
Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows
Power down electronics before bed
Now power down those electronics, relax and hit the hay!