RECOVERY.

THE RECOVERY PYRAMID

Nail the bottom of the pyramid first before thinking of climbing higher up!

SLEEP FOR PERFORMANCE

Why do we need sleep?

Most people require 8 hours minimum a night. We need sleep for mental wellbeing, recovery of cells throughout the body, to regulate bodily functions, to help you grow and for injury prevention. If we lose sleep, then we effectively fall into a jet lag situation! A lack of sleep now may effect you in later life (there is some evidence about the long term health implications due to a lack of sleep).

Jet Lag

With a lack of sleep, we can have the effects of jet lag, which disrupts our circadian rhythm. It can lead to:

  • Reduced immunity to coughs and colds
  • Increased irritability
  • Lack of recovery
  • Reduction in brain function
  • Reduced digestion
  • Increased craving for poor diet choices
  • Physical performance reduces!
Circadian Rhythm

This is the body's ability to regulate our function i.e. our internal body clock. It is regulated by light sensitive cells that are deep in the brain and helps to control alertness, temperature, hormones and cell activity.

What stops us from sleeping well?

Our bodies require rhythm. This means:

  • Going to bed at the same time each day
  • Getting up at the same time
  • Reduced stimulation before bed
  • Reduced screen time before bed
  • Minimal distractions in the bedroom
  • Cool temperatures in bed
  • Reduced light pollution
Ideas to Get Good sleep

Before bed:

  • Have a regular time for going to bed and getting up
  • No screen time 30-60 mins prior to going to bed
  • De-stress by reading (with low lighting)
  • Have a warm shower (helps regulate body temperature)
  • No caffeine a minimum of 6 hours before bed
  • Don't eat a large meal within 2-3 hours of bed
  • No alcohol

In bed:

  • No phones
  • Cool room temperature - below 20˚C
  • Black out curtains

It's ok to...

  • Wake up and expose yourself to sunlight to wake up the mind
  • Have caffeine in the day
  • Have naps in the day - recommended max 45min, not after 3pm
  • If you are not asleep after 20mins of trying, get up and do a mundane activity
  • Meditate - concentrating on breathing can slow the body rhythm
  • Stretch - light stretches prior to bed can calm you down
  • Write a to-do list before going to bed, if you are one of those people who think about what you have to do the next day
  • The bedroom is 'the bedroom' - don't use it for studying, watching TV etc

Screens

'Blue light' can be found in TVs, laptops, phones and smart watches. The blue light from screens stimulates the light receptors in the brain and makes you more awake! Therefore, avoid all blue light 30-60mins prior to bed.

Blue light glasses can help reduce the effects of the screens.

Healthy Sleep
  • Plan your sleep time
  • Aim for a minimum amount
  • Keep a good sleep rhythm
  • Reduce the challenges to good sleep