Can you believe the Summer Games are almost over? You would think those amazing world-class athletes would be getting tired; however, one thing athletes don’t take for granted is sleep. Whether you are setting world records or just trying to complete your To-Do List for today, a good night’s sleep is an important part of everyone’s routine, yet in a survey done by Mattress Firm and Protect-a-Bed earlier this year over 52% of respondents said they get less than 7 hours of sleep a night.
We know that it takes hours of practice and years of training to be an Olympic caliber athlete, but did you know that many of those athletes also stick to a strict sleep schedule as well? In an article on Competitor.com Deena Kastor, who won a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympic Marathon, says that she usually sleeps about 12 hours a day (which includes a mid-day nap) so that she feels more energetic while she’s awake. Most of us don’t have the luxury to sleep 12 hours a day. In fact, with everything we have going on – work, family, social life – even seven hours of uninterrupted shut-eye sounds like a luxury.
So how do you maximize the time you are sleeping so that you can wake up feeling refreshed? The most important thing to remember about sleep is that it’s easier to stick to a routine than to constantly be trying to make up for a sleep deficit. Getting into the habit of going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day will help you get the most out of the time you are asleep. Many people try to make up for time lost on the weekends by sleeping late or taking long naps. While this may seem like a good idea, it could actually be throwing off your natural body clock which will make waking up on Monday morning that much more difficult.
Remember, no matter if you are an Olympic athlete in training or just an avid Olympics watcher, sleep is important and should be part of your routine, not just an afterthought. If you have any tips or tricks on getting a good night’s sleep that you’d like to share, leave us a comment.