This week was National Sleep Awareness Week, which seeks to promote awareness around better quality sleep to increase well-being and overall health. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 45% of Americans say that insufficient or poor quality sleep affected their daily activities at least once in the last 7 days. So, let’s say it is truly one day that quality of sleep is affected, that is 52 days a year that a person is not operating at their 100%. Imagine what this could do to productivity level, let alone what that does to recovery, especially for us golfers trying to improve.
I know a lot of you struggle to get quality sleep, so I thought I would give my top 3 tips to getting the perfect night’s sleep! Before implementing any of these tips, it is important to plan ahead! As athletes, you need more sleep than the general public. So, plan for between 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Age is a factor in this as well. The younger the athlete, the closer they need to 10 hours of sleep or more and the older the athlete the closer they need to 8 hours of sleep per night.
Once you’ve planned your day around what time you are going to bed, now we have to talk about quality of sleep. My first tip for quality of sleep is to not eat 2 hours before you go to bed. This is very important. When you eat, your body has to digest the food, this will get in the way of you getting to sleep on time. This includes water as well so make sure you get your water intake in throughout your day and not later at night.
My second tip is to focus on limiting your electronic use 1-2 hours before bed. When using these items, the blue light from the screens affects your circadian rhythm and tells your body to be more awake than you should be due to this light. This could affect how quickly you fall asleep. For even better quality sleep, you should wear blue light blocking glasses once the sun goes down, to really ensure this light doesn’t affect any sleep.
My third tip to optimize sleep is keep the house around 65-68 degrees during the night. This is the optimal temperature to sleep at. If you are too hot or too cold it will negatively affect sleep and potentially wake you up during the night.
Optimizing your sleep quality will not only help you be more productive throughout your day, but will also improve your recovery. Better recovery and more sleep will help you lift and practice more often, all efforts to improve your golf game!