This week, we explain the mechanisms related to sleep and recovery in athletes (whether they are amateurs or high level). To have a healthy body through regular physical activity, you need to sleep well.
How Does Sleep Work?
Sleep is an important pillar of a healthy lifestyle, just like hydration, diet, and sport. Also, sleep plays a key role in mood and morale. It is an important element for our psyche. You should know that sleep is a succession of periods of slow sleep and REM sleep. This cycle lasts about 90 minutes and is usually repeated 4-6 times throughout the night (or about 8 hours for the average individual).
The slow phase has 3 stages: light, deep, and very deep. As for the paradoxical phase, it is that of dreams. At this point, while your muscles are relaxed, your brain continues to be as active as it was during the day.
It is important to understand that the number of hours required varies. Everyone, whether athletic or not, has a greater or lesser need for rest. And all the more so since sleep is modified according to parameters such as age or physical activity. Indeed, if age has a decreasing and jerky effect, physical activity on the other hand accentuates slow sleep time and increases overall sleep time, in addition to modifying its quality.
Some Rules For Better Sleep
- Allow 2 hours between physical activity and bedtime. However, the more you are used to training late, the less the impact on sleep.
- Fall asleep at the set, regular times.
- Plan a ritual before going to sleep: reading, soft lighting, verbena …
- Do not overheat the room. A temperature of 18 or 19 degrees is ideal.
- Eat light in the evening (salads, vegetables, soups), and remember to hydrate yourself well.
To conclude, we can say that the balance between sport and sleep is essential, one favoring the other. Poor quality sleep will make you less efficient while increasing the feeling of fatigue, the risk of injury, and decreasing the recovery of your muscles and your nervous system. Conversely, having regular physical activity will promote the quality of your sleep due to better regulation of your biological clock.