We all know that sleep is vital for our health and wellbeing, and athletes are especially in tune with the critical nature of a good night’s rest. The Olympics have now ended, but in the spirit of health and athletic performance, we’re sharing five tips from Olympians on how they get consistent and replenishing rest.
Customize your sleep routine
According to three-time gold medalist Gabby Douglas, establishing a sleep and wind-down routine that works well for you and sticking to it is key to getting consistently good sleep. Whether that looks like meditating and reading a good book, taking your dog for a short walk before bed, or listening to calming music, find a nighttime routine that truly works for you and your lifestyle.
Getting enough sleep is important, but so is finding consistency in your sleep and wake times. For American rower Sam Ojserkis, this means going to sleep at eight and waking up at five, but this will look different for people based on their natural circadian rhythms, lifestyles, and work demands.
Block out disturbances
12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin notes the critical importance of a distraction-free night’s sleep. This means setting up a dark, quiet, cool sleep space. If summertime light and heat are taking a toll on your sleep quality, check out our article on summertime slumber.
Think about tracking your sleep
It’s no surprise that Olympians like Michael Phelps track their sleep with wearable devices, but even if you’re not a professional athlete, a sleep tracker can help you identify how well you’re sleeping and test out different adjustments for improved rest.
Treat sleep as part of your health routine
Olympic trainer Jeffrey Durmer, M.D., Ph.D. recommends treating sleep like part of your training routine. As a critical part of your health, wellness, energy levels, and even immunity, sleep should definitely not be an afterthought in your health routine. Invest in improved sleep and you’ll reap the benefits in all aspects of your life.