While plenty of attention goes into developing skills and talent, other important components that affect an athlete’s performance can be overlooked. Especially considering the demands of an athlete’s training and game schedule, getting adequate sleep is often an afterthought. Athletes can maximize their performance, recovery and overall health with these sleep tips.
Steps to Better Sleep for Peak Sports Performance
(Family Features) For fans and athletes alike, fall means gearing up for a new season of sports activities. While plenty of attention goes into developing skills and talent, other important components that affect an athlete’s performance can be overlooked. Especially considering the demands of an athlete’s training and game schedule, getting adequate sleep is often an afterthought.
However, a lack of sleep can significantly affect athletes’ performance both on and off the field.
Sleep quality, efficiency and duration all may decrease just before competition, limiting opportunities for athletes to get the optimal quality and quantity of sleep their bodies need due to intense practice and game schedules, according to research published in “Sports Medicine.”
The same research found sleep can affect several aspects of an athlete’s performance. Skills that require endurance tend to be more affected by sleep deprivation than short-term, high-power activities. Running speed and free throw accuracy improve with more sleep, for example. There is also evidence that getting inadequate sleep increases the risk of injury as sleep deprivation can cause low energy and problems with focus during the game. It may also negatively affect split-second decision-making.
Less sleep also means fewer opportunities for natural secretion of the growth hormones that occur in deep sleep and aide restoration, physical performance and a healthy metabolism.
Athletes can maximize their performance, recovery and overall health with these tips from Mattress Firm’s sleep health expert, Dr. Sujay Kansagra:
Find more advice to ensure a better night’s sleep at MattressFirm.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Life can be a series of challenges that sometimes feel overwhelming. When life throws you one curveball after another, it's important to be equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to set your mind on a healthy path. Here are three activities that you can do to recenter yourself and reduce the effects of stress.
Regular meditation can help you to lower your blood pressure, calm your mind and achieve a better feeling of general well-being. Meditation can also help to relieve stress, anxiety and a host of other issues. Meditation Oasis describe how as the stress and tension leave your muscles, the body receives the message that it's time to reset itself. Once you get into the habit of practicing meditation, it will help you to center your life and priorities. The deep, cleansing breaths associated with mindful meditation are grounding ways to start and finish every day.
Yoga and aromatherapy work hand in hand to recenter you and your life. In the morning, practicing sun salutations in a room infused with refreshing scents, like grapefruit and orange, will start your day off right. Aromatherapy works by activating sensors in your brain to produce the feel-good serotonin that naturally improves your mood and motivates you to be more productive. doTERRA suggests that aromatherapy yoga relaxes you, calms your mind and body, and prepares you for meditation. After a tough day, the relaxing poses and breathing exercises of yoga, combined with soothing scents, like lavender, will calm tense muscles and clear the mind. Aromatherapy yoga can also help to regulate sleep patterns, which contributes to a more positive outlook on life.
A daily brisk walk can be the best medicine that you can provide your body when you're looking to relieve stress. The endorphins that are delivered through exercise provide an immediate boost to your mood. The physical act of walking increases cardiovascular fitness, strengthens bones and improves endurance levels. Walking can also be a meditative experience if done properly. Be sure to practice deep and intentional breathing as you walk so that your emotional health also benefits from the exercise.
Taking the time to practice these three activities regularly will help you to be proactive about taking care of your mental and emotional well-being. The power of these activities is exponential when they all become part of your routine. By taking care of yourself, you can reset, recenter and regain control of your life
If you have a hard time falling asleep and waking up and find yourself feeling lethargic during the day, rest assured you’re not alone. Regardless of how hard you may work to try and maintain a healthy lifestyle, you may be in need of a way to reset your body clock for optimal health and to look and feel your best – especially in the morning. Consider these simple lifestyle choices for sleeping and waking up to optimize wellness.
Simple Steps to Wake Up Well
(Family Features) If you have a hard time falling asleep and waking up and find yourself feeling lethargic during the day, rest assured you’re not alone. Regardless of how hard you may work to try and maintain a healthy lifestyle, you may be in need of a way to reset your body clock for optimal health and to look and feel your best – especially in the morning.
As a life balance coach and wellness expert, Lauren Zoeller constantly urges her clients to prioritize sleep because, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of three of adults in the United States isn’t getting the recommended seven hours of sleep.
Lack of sleep means lower mental and physical performance and can lead to health issues ranging from diabetes to heart disease. Sleep loss also takes its toll on skin. While asleep, important repair, renewal and detoxification processes take place, which are vital for healthy skin. Dark circles, dehydration, skin redness and sallowness may appear when the skin isn’t able to naturally repair during proper sleep cycles.
According to Zoeller, “sleep” and “wake up” patterns can be reset with a combination of aromatherapy and some simple lifestyle choices.
“I use a combination of natural, clinically proven skincare solutions from This Works, which work in harmony with your body clock and promote healthy sleep habits,” Zoeller said. “At night, a few pumps of the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray – which is powered by 100 percent essential oils of lavender, chamomile and vetivert – is proven to help you relax and fall asleep faster.
“For the morning, you can try This Works’ Morning Expert collection, which features natural ingredients to rehydrate, protect, smooth and brighten tired morning skin. I love the Wake Up Drops, which are made with peppermint, rosemary and lavandin oil to energize and boost alertness and mental focus.”
Zoeller also recommends these simple lifestyle choices for sleeping and waking up to optimize wellness:
Find more tips for refreshing your body and mind to wake up feeling well at ThisWorks.com.
Photo caption (woman): Life balance coach and wellness expert Lauren ZoellerSOURCE:
Just as you would set off at the starting line of a race, this hectic pace is how mornings begin for many men and women. Instead of waking with dread to face another hectic morning, consider these tips for a healthier way to ease into your daily rituals.
Wake Up Refreshed
Simple ways to begin your morning
(Family Features) Ready, set, go. Just as you would set off at the starting line of a race, this hectic pace is how mornings begin for many men and women.
Instead of waking with dread to face another hectic morning, consider these tips for a healthier way to ease into your daily rituals. While these activities may require you to allow extra time, you may be pleased with the productive results.
Meditate. A practice that has been around for thousands of years may still be one of the best stress busters for hurried mornings. To start, find a place in your home that is free of noise and distraction. Practice sitting still, with eyes closed, and focus only on your breathing. Using deep, controlled breaths, try to steer your thoughts away from negative and stress-inducing thoughts.
Stretch. While the most health-conscious person may opt for a morning sweat-a-thon, working in some stretches can also be beneficial. When you awake, think about oft-used muscles and extend each one for 15-30 seconds.
Activate. Give your brain some fuel in the morning while also doing something nice for your mind. For example, journaling is a gentle way to ease into your morning and get your brain firing. If you can’t think of a topic, simply write down a few affirmations for the day, revisit a pleasant memory from your past or scribble down a goal for the week. Journaling can be an uplifting way to engage the mind and express gratitude for the day ahead.
Find more tips for starting your day on the right foot at eLivingToday.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
(BPT) - As the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, millions of people vow to eat better, work out more and lead a healthier life.
But something is missing from this equation. While eating well and getting exercise are extremely important, too often people neglect the keystone of good health: sleep.
While few people like daily workout routines or kale salad, most everyone loves sleep. And a good night’s sleep loves you, too: It boosts mental and physical well-being.
With today’s stressful, highly caffeinated, screen-addicted lifestyles, millions of Americans do not get enough sleep. There are many reasons for this. A look at the 2017 Sleep in Review study by Sleep Number suggests that sleeping habits are highly individualized and need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
A look at the numbers
This year, more than 30 percent of Americans reported they slept worse than in 2016.
A big culprit here is television. Nearly half of all respondents said that television often cuts into their sleep. In fact, 24 percent of millennials and 14 percent of all Americans report that binge watching before bed prevents them from getting enough rest.
Nearly 70 percent say worry and responsibility are preventing them from getting the sleep they need. A racing mind keeps many Americans from getting rest, particularly among Gen Xers. Worries about taking care of others — aging parents or young children — can often lead to neglecting yourself.
However, putting your own self-care first is often the best way to care for others. Those who sleep well say they have a healthy balance of taking time for themselves and helping others that need them (39 percent versus 26 percent). Of course, if you’re having difficulty sleeping, this might sound easier said than done.
How do you get there? How do you achieve that wonderful, restorative eight hours of sleep?
There’s not one right way to do this, but according to the survey, there are several habits good sleepers have:
* Ditch the device: Forty-six percent of self-described "good sleepers" never or rarely bring a device to bed.
* Have a laugh: Those who sleep well are more likely to watch a comedy before going to sleep.
* Keep it cool: Forty-five percent say that cooling down the bedroom temperature is the No. 1 thing they do to improve sleep.
* Stay tidy: Those who make their bed every morning are less likely to struggle with sleep.
A good night’s sleep can mean the difference between having a wonderful or a horrible day. More and more Americans are realizing this. Over half (54 percent) of those surveyed are making "improving the quality of their sleep" one of their New Year’s resolutions, which is up 30 percentage points from 2014.
An individualized path to better sleep
In the past five years, millions of people have embraced software and technology that tracks their eating and exercise habits. These small devices give an individualized report that allows people to monitor their activity and adjust in a way that promotes good habits and health. Similarly, Sleep Number's SleepIQ technology(R) tracks your sleeping habits, and in the morning, it gives you a personalized report on how you slept, offering insights on how you might improve your sleeping habits.
Sleep is so individualized, and there’s no one right way to do it. The more you know about how you’re sleeping, the more you can learn what adjustments you should make to sleep better. Learn more about the latest in sleep tracking and adjustable comfort at sleepnumber.com.
Difficulty sleeping is an issue that many people face, with 1 in 3 adults not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, according to the CDC. Just two glasses each day of Montmorency tart cherry juice, a natural source of melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone, is one way to help improve sleep quality and duration.
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