It’s no surprise that not getting enough sleep can negatively affect your health, mood, energy, and workouts. On the other end of the spectrum is too much sleep. Researchers in this field such as Mary L. Gavin, M.D., says, “Most adults need between 7 to 9 hours of nightly sleep. If you get much more or less, you may wake up feeling tired and unrefreshed. People who sleep too long may also have trouble falling asleep, and they may wake up a lot during the night.” Studies also show that getting too little sleep, as well as oversleeping, can contribute to obesity, anxiety, memory issues and lethargy the next day. Plain and simple, not having the right balance of sleep creates an unfavorable environment within our bodies to support optimal recovery from exercise.
Here are 4 tips to help balance your sleep and support better recovery from exercise.
1. Go to bed at the same time nightly. By making an effort to go to bed around the same time each night (yes, including weekends) and awakening at around the same time each morning establishes a quality sleep pattern, helping your body’s sleep cycle so it’s easier to fall asleep and not oversleep in the morning.
2. Keep the bed room dark comfortable and cool. Light and noise disrupt sleep, so keep your bedroom dark, tranquil and cool.
3. You can’t catch up on sleep. A popular sleep myth is that if you skimp on sleep on a few weeknights, you can make it up on the weekend. According to the National Sleep Foundation, Harvard Medical School researchers found that sleeping an additional 10 hours to compensate for averaging only six hours of sleep nightly for two weeks impaired reaction time and the ability to focus—showing that it is nearly impossible to “catch up on sleep” to improve performance.
4. Check your mattress and pillow. An old mattress or pillow can cause you to toss and turn throughout the night. Rotating the mattress monthly or changing your pillow may resolve the issue.