Sleep is king. Nailing your sleep and getting good quality and quantity sleep will increase your performance ten fold. Here are some tips you can use.
I have always been a 'good' sleeper. However, due to various reasons, over the last year I have struggled.
I found myself unable to fall asleep quickly and waking up a couple of times through the night.
As a result, everything else around performance took a knock - nutrition, recovery, energy levels, training session quality, motivation... the list goes on.
Sleep really is the king. Good sleep will change your whole life. No exaggeration.
Since nailing my sleep and analysing what works and what doesn't, I am a different person and different athlete.
I have more energy, I am in better moods, my motivation is high, I am more disciplined, training and results have improved. You may not want to focus on sleep but I'm 99% sure you want to get better at your sport.
So what have I done? Well firstly, remember I am one man. What works for me, may not work for you. The important thing is to trial and assess. Keep a log on what works and what doesn't.
Bed time routine - This starts at 8.20 as I want to be asleep by 9pm. I am up at 5 so this gives me 8 hours. changing my routine, felt weird at first but repetition creates habit and now it feels weird to stay up later. Prioritising what I wanted made this easier.
Pre bed routine - This is simple, quick and effective. If it's too long or feels an effort to do, you won't do it. I journal for 5 mins, writing down how my day was, how I feel, anything that went well, lessons learned. Some days I don't feel the need to journal so I don't. I then plan my tomorrow. I use a diary that has 15 minute slots from 5am - 8pm.
Brush teeth - ok we all do this ( I hope) but adding new habits to this old habit (habit stacking) ensures routine and that my brain links this activity to sleep. Nice and easy.
Send last message - I finish by replying to anything I need so I am not thinking about it.
Podcast - I found my mind wonder a lot when trying to sleep. I think about work a lot, never stress but ideas. By listening to a podcast, I find my mind stops thinking. I am listening so not thinking about work or trying to sleep. I start to nod off and turn it off at around 9pm. Don't listen to anything heavy, you don't want to be triggered. Currently, I am listening to the Entourage series.
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