Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Sleep and the Amateur Athlete

February 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 165

Fitness is an important part of change in a person's health. In order to minimize injury and to obtain the optimal benefit to your hard work proper sleep is absolutely necessary. When you exert your body it is important for your recovery to make sure you are getting enough sleep.

During the night you go through different stages of sleep. Your body goes through different stages of sleep throughout the night. During the first third of the night we go into slow wave sleep. This is the time of sleep where we repair our body. The most essential part of recovery after an especially hard work out is the time for our muscles to heal and grow.

In order to take advantage of the best stages of sleep for your needs you need to create a routine that meets them. Since you want to take advantage of the healing time you have to plan to fall asleep rather early. To do this you need to plan ways to unwind before you go to bed. Practicing deep diaphragmatic breathing is a great way to help gear your body to unwind. By doing these exercise 6 to 10 breaths a night you will recruit airways you do not usually use and will increase the level of oxygen available to your body.

The best way to perform diaphragmatic breathing is to lay down and place your hands at the bottom of the rib cage. You want to fill your lungs by pushing your hands out. You want to take this breath in slowly. At the top of the breath you want to hold it for 2 counts which will allow you to equalize pressure throughout the lung including the less used areas. Then you slowly exhale through pursed lips. That slight back pressure helps to keep those airways open. If you have need for those airways they are easier to access when I need that extra big breath during a run or when you are lifting.

You also need to take advantage of light and dark. Our body really does run on light and dark and the excess light especially prior to sleep will make it very difficult to fall also and you might miss some important slow wave sleep. So turning off light producing product 30 minutes prior to going to bed will be helpful. In younger athletes helping them to develop the ability to sleep without electronics will help them to grow, heal and be strong.

Ending your sleep too soon robs your brain of the chance to go into REM. During this period of sleep our short-term memory shifts to long-term memory. This is essential and is more productive than cramming for a test or big presentation. Getting the proper amount of sleep allows your brain to process all the information and make it easier to access when you need it. When you are sleep deprived because you have missed stages of sleep.

Ultimately being athletic is a combination of proper nutrition, exercise and rest. Because there are much more specific needs that can lead to injury being aware of your sleep and your physical need which may be more than the average person your age due to the need for healing. Do not skim on this because the side effects of sleep deprivation will decrease your ability to compete the way you want to.

Sleep is as important to health as healthy eating and exercise only easier. Sometimes it takes a sleep coach to help you sort though what you need to change to achieve a good night sleep. If you would like a 15 minute evaluation of your sleep routine or wish to sign up for out quarterly newsletter at or write

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Enough Sleep


Proper Sleep


Getting Enough Sleep


Sleep Staging


Sleep And Exercise


Sleep And Memory

Your body needs glucose in order to get energy for cell and tissue function. Without energy, the cells do not function properly and the immune system is compromised. When your blood glucose levels

By: Clifford H Woods l Health & Fitness > Diabetes l July 09, 2013 lViews: 2617

Heavy Metals - Free radicals (tissue damaging molecules that cause aging and bodily deterioration) are the result of the ever-present toxins within our environment. Heavy metals are contained in

By: Clifford H Woods l Health & Fitness > Supplements l July 09, 2013 lViews: 607

Braun shavers and trimmers are very standard brand and their new curser beard and head trimmer is big for trimming beards. This trimmer was specifically made to be able to trim down your beard and

By: Lovey Blackburn l Health & Fitness > Beauty l December 20, 2012 lViews: 459

On this website you will find latest makeup reviews and swatches from real people. You will know how makeup products look in real life, and you can also participate! Post your photos, tips and

By: l Health & Fitness > Beauty l December 09, 2012 lViews: 320

You can either seek referrals from friends and associates or search for consultants on the internet. The latter, in our opinion, would be a viable option for those pressed for time.You can either

By: Simon Liva l Health & Fitness > Diseases l December 07, 2012 lViews: 269

Healthy living is essential in today's world, to ensure one's well being. Learn how to relax and improve your mood now! Be it exercising, or indulging in one's passions and hobbies, be sure to set

By: Clarinda l Health & Fitness > Mind Body Spirit l December 02, 2012 lViews: 262

We have all heard about it. The stories where someone tosses and turns, moaning, "I cannot fall asleep." Those who have a condition called sleep paralysis may find that they have no problem falling

By: Mel Daveyl Health & Fitness > Sleep Snoringl April 18, 2012 lViews: 247

  Sleep paralysis is the feeling of being awake, but unable to move or act. While it poses few actual health threats, it can be disorienting and potentially frightening for those who experience an

By: Lucy Greenswoodl Health & Fitness > Sleep Snoringl April 18, 2012 lViews: 267

Over 70 million Americans people suffer from a variety of sleep disorders. The condition of sleep disorders is very complex and ranges from mild to extremely severe forms. There are many underlying

By: Tina C. Lorenl Health & Fitness > Sleep Snoringl April 18, 2012 lViews: 175

Sleep apnea is a condition that results to poor sleep at night. If left untreated, it may lead to more serious problems. Seek your doctor's help to determine which treatment is most suitable for you.

By: Roberta Barrowl Health & Fitness > Sleep Snoringl April 18, 2012 lViews: 188

A firm mattress supports your body, protects your back and helps to ensure sound sleep. Soft mattresses, that offer little resistance, lead to muscle pain and back problems. Soft mattresses do not

By: Dane Gulottal Health & Fitness > Sleep Snoringl April 18, 2012 lViews: 198

Conditions such as sleep apnea that cause sleep deprivation are linked to poor concentration and memory, increased risk of diabetes, hypertension and high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes,

By: David Volpil Health & Fitness > Sleep Snoringl April 17, 2012 lViews: 173