Sleep promotes the building of muscle, strength, and endurance. It is critical to recovery and should be made a priority if you want to get your best results. Although I know these facts, I still really struggle in the sleep department to go to bed when I should!
I bring this topic up, as of late its been something I’ve really been struggling with to get on top of. As an age grouper triathlete with a family, I like to have some downtime that’s not training, working or getting the kids sorted. I have a natural tendency to stay up and so I find myself digging a hole for myself where I’m constantly tired. This then compounds the problem, as once you start getting really tired it can be hard to actually go to sleep as I become restless. It also impacts your relationships with others from always feeling tired, so they don’t get the best from you. This vicious cycle is very counterproductive to life, training and trying to improve!
The solution is quite a simple one, go to bed earlier! Although that is much easier said than done. Working for an overseas company offers flexibility but it also means working at night is unavoidable. Using screens at night, which admit blue light provides stimulus which is counterproductive to sleep. Creating a space to wind down before going to sleep can allow you to capitalise on better quality sleep. This means better recovery, which ultimately equals better performance. Ultimately, the choice and priority is mine about when I go to sleep. The challenge I’m setting for myself is to avoid screens 60mins earlier than usual and try to get into bed 30mins sooner. Baby steps..