Sleep Hygiene? What is it and How Can You Improve?
We’re often told to set a good bedtime or ‘wind down’ routine, or that we need to have good ‘sleep hygiene’ to ensure we are our healthiest selves. But what does that look like? And how does bad sleep hygiene increase our risk of injury and decrease our athletic performance? First, we need to look at quality vs quantity of sleep.
Quality vs Quantity of Sleep
The average adult is advised to get ~8 hours (7-9) of sleep per night. But if this sleep is broken and results in you waking feeling unrefreshed, then is it really a good, effective sleep?
For example, which of these is more likely to benefit your overall health:
- 9 hours of interrupted, restless sleep, where you took over 30-minutes to fall asleep, and you woke up feeling groggy and tired?
- Or 6-7 hours of uninterrupted sleep, where you took less than 30-minutes to fall asleep, you spent +85% of this time in bed asleep, and you woke up feeling refreshed?
I know which one I would pick!
Both the quality and the quantity of sleep are important for ensuring good sleep hygiene. In fact, good sleep hygiene practices reduce your risk of injury, improve your rate of recovery and can improve athletic performance. Not to mention that poor sleep hygiene may also lead to changes in mood, productivity, memory or decision making, and can impact your overall health in damaging ways.
POOR SLEEP HYGIENE & ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE:
Reduced quantity of sleep (total sleep time of ~4 hours), and disturbances during sleep, may have a negative impact on athletic performance, particularly if this occurs simultaneously as training loads are increasing.
POOR SLEEP HYGIENE & YOUR RISK OF INJURY:
Poor sleep quality, or non-restorative sleep, may lead to an increase in severity or number of musculoskeletal injuries. Moreover, chronic lack of sleep, particularly in adolescents, can increase your risk of sports or musculoskeletal injuries as well.
GOOD SLEEP HYGIENE & IMPROVED RECOVERY:
When we suffer from injury, sleep is crucial in helping restore & grow new healthy tissues. Specifically, sleep is important for helping control local inflammation in the body, and releasing growth hormones which are responsible for the regeneration of tissues and bone/muscle repair. Good sleep hygiene and sleep extension (increasing the hours of sleep) during injury can help improve pain sensitivity and anabolic responses, which may help accelerate recovery.
When working with an osteopath to recover from injury, or to keep the body in tip-top shape to improve your athletic performance, good sleep hygiene practices are always crucial!
Here are 15 Tips & Tricks for Good Sleep Hygiene to Improve your Performance and Reduce your Risk of Injury (as recommended by YLM Sport Science):
At Equilibrium Sports and Spinal clinic we thrive on helping our local community who are suffering with injuries or need help with improving their athletic performance. Our Osteopaths service Malvern, Glen Iris, Ashburton, Hawthorn, Toorak, South Yarra, Camberwell and Caulfield. Book online today, and let us help you turn your poor sleep hygiene into a thing of the past!
Feel free to email us at i[email protected]