So, your sleep quality isn’t great, what can you do? There isn’t a single one-size-fits-all answer and you may need to experiment a little to find out what works best for you.
Thanks to your Suunto 3 Fitness you can see when things are heading in the right direction, know when it is time to stay the course, and when it’s time to make some changes. You can also follow along to learn which strategies and solutions are the most effective for you.
Here are 5 tips to improve your sleep quality:
1. Avoid strenuous physical activity in the late evening. Regular physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but your body doesn’t stop working when you do. Your body can remain in an elevated state long after you finish a workout. As a result, your night time recovery levels may be delayed and diminished.
2. Establish a regular routine before bed. We are all creatures of habit, and for the most part we have good instincts for what constitutes a good evening routine. A good stable routine signals to your body that it’s time to start winding things down and allows your body to get head start on the work of recovery.
3. Regulate alcohol consumption. A glass of wine in the evening is a popular way to relax in the evening, or a few drinks may help unwind after a stressful day. More than a few drinks, however, will almost certainly delay the onset of recovery at night and will result in poor recovery.
4. Improve your cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2max) with regular physical activity. As if there weren’t enough reasons to improve your fitness level, here’s one more. The fitter you are the less your body is impacted by stress. You also become more resilient, so that when you do experience stress your body recovers more efficiently. This is true both day and night.
5. Sleep more. It’s almost cruel, but sometimes the cause of bad sleep is … wait for it … bad sleep. Chronically poor sleep diminishes your body’s ability to repair itself. It also impairs your ability to interpret situations. This includes the ability to assess your own performance levels, losing touch with yourself and the impact of bad sleep on your effectiveness.
As you think about stress, recovery, and sleep in relationship to your own daily routines and lifestyle decisions, it’s worth keeping in mind that stress increases your body’s need for good quality sleep. This is important because busy, hectic schedules that often produce a lot of stress also tend to result in the devaluation of sleep and recovery in favor of doing something more. In the long run, however, the health and productivity benefits of a balanced approach to stress and recovery are well worth it.
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The levels of physical and mental exertion required to maintain performance at the elite level means effective recovery is essential. Good quality sleep is one way of getting exactly that. However, getting enough sleep (and the right kind) can be harder than it sounds.
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