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Sleep Can be your Secret Weapon in the Playoffs!!!

How Much Sleep do you Need?

7 to 9 Hours per night is recommended.  Studies show that increasing sleep to 10 hours per night can increase performance.  To determine how much sleep you need pay attention to how long it takes you to fall asleep.  If you fall asleep with in 20 minutes of going to bed and wake up before your alarm goes off you are getting enough sleep.  However if you fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow and need an alarm to wake up, you are probably sleep deprived.  Experiment with going to bed 30 minutes earlier and see if you wake up with out an alarm, or see how you feel the next day, if this works great if not keep experimenting by adding another 30 minutes.  Once you find the ideal amount of sleep be consistent with getting that much sleep each night.  If you wake before your alarm it is time to get up if you have reach at least 7 hours, going back to sleep will make you feel tired unless you can sleep for another 90 minutes.

Tips: Turn electronics off 30 minutes before bed.  Read a book before bed.  If you do not fall asleep with in 20-30 minutes of turning the lights out get up and stretch or read.

What is “Sleep Debt”?

Sleep Debt is the cumulative effect of not getting enough sleep on a nightly basis or over a week.

Important to understand that 1) You cannot build up a reserve by sleeping ahead, 2) You can only make up 2 hours max of lost sleep at a time,  3) Losing 1 hour per night for a week is equal to staying up for 1 full night, 4) You cannot make up sleep debt in large chunks by sleeping 14-16 hours be night on the weekend.

Are “Power Naps” Beneficial?

Power naps can be extremely beneficial; 1) To make up lost sleep (1.5-2 hours at a time), 2) To increase alertness and performance (15-30 minutes at a time).  Use longer naps 1.5-2 hours to catch up on lost sleep on off days only.  Use short 15-30 minutes on game days.

Tips: Drink caffeine 2-3 minutes before short power naps (15-30 minutes) and you will wake up more alert because of the effect that caffeine has on stimulating your central nervous system and it takes about 20 minutes for caffeine to kick in.  When taking longer naps set your alarm so that you do not sleep more then about 90 minutes.  All naps are most effective between 1pm – 3pm.

Closing Remarks: 1) Determine how many hours you need per night,  2) Use power naps to your benefit,  3) Do not oversleep, 4) If you have good sleep habits do not be concerned if you get one night of bad sleep (even before a game), it will not have a negative effect on performance. 

Good Luck in the Playoffs,   Looking forward to seeing you in the Premier Strength gym this summer.


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