Hours slept and injury risk

Do you sleep less than 7 hours a night?

Look at your risk of injury, scary right. We all know how important it is to sleep 8 hours+ a night, but what can we do to improve our quantity and quality of sleep?

Sleep Schedule

Stick to a schedule with your sleeping pattern, go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday.

Sticking to this pattern will train your circadian rhythms to make you feel tired at the same time every evenings, and eventually you’ll be able to move away from your alarm clock wake up.

Don’t procrastinate with your sleep, same time every night.

Avoid late night exercise

Underlooked, but a real problem for athletes.

Try to avoid exercising less than two to three hours before bed. Your adrenaline levels will be through the roof, making it far more difficult to fall asleep.

If you have to train late into the evening, try meditation after your session to get you into the parasympthatic state.

Caffeine Timings

The half life of caffeine is 6 hours.

If you drank a monster before your training session at 4pm, you’ll still have half the caffeine in your system at 10pm.

If you want to utilise a pre-workout, I’d recommend training earlier in the day.

If you can’t train earlier in the day, avoid the caffeine. You’ll get in a viscious cycle of over consuming caffeine in order to make up for your lack of sleep.

Don’t nap after 3pm

Avoid taking a nap after 3pm, or risk throwing off your circadian rhythm.

Relax before Bed

Modern life is ever more demanding, we all end up taking work home with us.

Nevertheless, avoid overscheduling your day. If you find yourself working late into the night you’ll be comprimising your sleep, and therefore your work efficiency for the following day.

Turn off your laptop a few hours before bed, chill and be more efficient the following day.

Make sure your room is pitch black

The invent of artificial light was a revolution, however it isn’t without its consquences.

Articifical light significantly reduces our ability to fall asleep. Although there’s not a huge amount we can do about this; we can make sure we have black-out curtains, keep our phones out our room and use side lamps instead of main lighting a few hours before bed.

Keep your bedroom cool

Better to have a cold rather than hot bedroom, that’s why we tend to feel cosy on cold evenings.

Our bodies internal temperature needs to drop in order to fall asleep.

Make sure you get 8hours+ sleep a night or be prepared for significantly higher risks of injury. I hope these tips help you improve your sleep quality and quantity, it’ll transform your sports performance and life if implemented correctly.