Did you know that in addition to physical conditioning and conscious eating, sleep plays a major role in athletic performance and competitive results?
Some research suggests that sleep deprivation increases levels of stress hormone, cortisol. It is known to decrease the production of carbohydrates and glycogen storage for energy use during physical activity. In short, less sleep increases the possibility of fatigue, low energy, and poor focus at game time. It may also slow recovery post-game.
The quality and amount of sleep athletes get is often the key to winning. Sleep in particular provides energy to both the brain and body. If sleep is cut short, the body doesn’t have time to repair and consolidate.
Sleep disturbances in elite athletes can occur both during training and following competition. It can happen due to many reasons.
Emotional issues such as stress, anxiety and depression cause about half of all sleep deprivation cases. But certain medication & supplements, your dietary habits, daytime and bedtime routine and physical health can also play a major role.
How to fight sleep deprivation?
- Keep a constant sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time including the weekends.
- Stop drinking caffeinated beverages at least eight hours before bed. Do not use alcohol to help you fall asleep. Stop drinking caffeinated beverages at least eight hours before bed. Alcohol is a sleep inducer and leads to drowsiness but the sleep are fragmented and leads to morning restlessness. Also, limit nicotine prior to bedtime, as it is a stimulant and will keep you up.
- Try to avoid heavy, rich foods within two hours of bed. Fatty foods can take a lot of work for your stomach to digest and spicy or acidic foods can cause heartburn.
- Avoid doing exercises close to bedtime.
Dietary tips to promote good sleep: There are certain foods which helps improve sleep.
- Warm Milk has some tryptophan – an amino acid that has a sedative – like effect.
- Bananas contain melatonin and serotonin which are practically some of the best sleep stimulating substances.
- A handful of heart-healthy nuts like walnuts can be snooze-inducing, as they contain both sleep-inducing tryptophan and a nice dose of muscle-relaxing magnesium.
- Drizzle a little honey in your warm milk or herb tea. Low glucose levels in brain causes reduction in synthesis of orexin, a recently discovered neurotransmitter that’s linked to alertness.
While the above article guides you to eating healthier, there is no substitute for customized professional advice given by a qualified nutritionist. We urge you to speak to your personal dietitian or if you need help, contact a nutritionist at Qua Nutrition.
You can contact us at 9743430000 or log on to www.quanutrition.com to Book An Appointment.