1, 2, 3’s of Getting Enough Z’s
No matter how successful we are at committing ourselves to proper exercise, nutrition, and hydration, we often overlook the least physically taxing principle of the TB12™ Method: rest. However, this seemingly easy aspect of sustaining peak performance can be a struggle for many people.
According to a 2014 study by the National Sleep Foundation, 45 percent of Americans say that “poor or insufficient sleep affected their daily activities at least once in the past seven days.” Still, given the many environmental and personal factors that may affect our sleep, it can be hard to specifically identify what is hindering our ability to get a good night’s sleep. That’s why our TB12 Body Coach Dave Merson (PT, DPT, ATC) says we should start simple. Here are some of his tips.
INVEST IN THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT
“Assess your pillow at home,” says Dave. “Does it not support your head enough — are you tilted backwards? Is is too big, bending your neck forward? If either of those two problems affect you, get a pillow that is just firm enough to support your neck in a neutral position.” Additionally, look into what type of mattress you’re sleeping on. Issues like lumpiness or waking up with neck or back pain are strong indicators it’s time for a replacement.
Another way to reinforce proper rest is through functional fabrics. The Athlete Recovery Sleepwear TB12 developed with Under Armour have been shown to help your body recover faster and promote better sleep.
LIMIT SCREEN TIME
Some studies have shown that the blue light from electronic screens makes getting to sleep more difficult. This includes computer monitors, TVs, and smartphone screens. Turning off or putting away your devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime will help you relax and quiet your mind.
“Instead of surfing the web before bed, try reading a book, journaling, or meditating” says Dave. “Doing a calming activity like that, screen-free, will create a relaxing environment before bed. That’ll help you get to sleep more easily and on time.”
“Take advantage of your circadian clock by sticking to a schedule” Dave says. “If you go to bed and wake up at consistent times every day, your body will form a natural rhythm. After a little while, you’ll naturally wake up at the right time!” Having a healthy circadian rhythm also lets you go through all the stages of sleep your body needs to get the most out of your rest. A consistent routine goes a long way!