One of the most underappreciated performance enhancers in sports is SLEEP. The sad part is that student-athletes like you probably aren’t taking sleep serious enough or struggle to get enough rest. Sleep is an active state of repair, rebuilding, regeneration, and reorganization. Student-athletes are at high risk for sleep difficulties because of extra time demands, training, traveling, and balancing academics. An NCAA study reported that one-third of student-athletes get fewer than 7 hours of sleep per night.
You should aim to get 8-10 hours of sleep per night. I know your life is crazy the majority of the time, but what could you say “no” to so you can say “yes” to more sleep? How could you manage your time better?
More sleep means…
Faster reaction times
Higher intensity workouts (get more out of your training!)
Better mood and alertness
Better memory (better test and homework scores!)
Better injury recovery
I know to get to sleep, stay asleep, and having a deep sleep can be challenging for some. Here are a few things you could add to your night-time routine to sleep better:
- Don’t do homework in your bed – Your mind will start to associate your bed as a space to “think” instead to relax.
- Try to carve out 20-60 minutes before bed to do nothing but relax – No scrolling on social media, no TV, no phone calls.
- Deep breathing before bed to relax your body and mind – 4 second inhalation, 6 second exhalation (slow breaths)