Quality sleep is a vital component of overall well-being, especially for athletes and active individuals. As a premier sports therapy clinic in Guildford, we understand the significance of proper rest for injury recovery, performance enhancement and overall health. In this blog post, we discuss essential sleep habits that can lead to better quality sleep and how improving the quality of your sleep can help your injury recovery, alongside your treatment and rehabilitation programmes set by seventy9 Sports Therapy in Guildford.
Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is crucial for regulating the body’s internal clock, also known as circadian rhythm. Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This consistency in your sleep patterns helps to synchronise your sleep-wake cycle, promoting deeper and more restorative sleep.
Create a Relaxing Bedtime Ritual
Establishing a calming bedtime routine signals to your body that it’s time to wind down. Engaging in activities that promote relaxation should be the focus of your pre-bedtime routine, such as reading a book, practicing gentle stretches or meditating. Try to avoid stimulating activities such as screen time or intense exercise right before bed, as these can disrupt your ability to fall asleep. At seventy9 Sports Therapy in Guildford, we are big fans of both yoga/gentle stretches and meditation in a pre-bedtime routine, and are fluid in exactly what form that takes for each individual. We are also very keen to help patients find a routine that they adhere to and therefore work hard to collaborate with patients to build a more bespoke relaxing bedtime ritual.
Design a Sleep-Friendly Environment
Optimise your sleep environment to make it conducive to rest. Keep your bedroom cool, quiet and dark to minimise disturbances. For some patients, investing in a mattress and pillow(s) that help to support their preferred sleep shape is important, however this isn’t always required. Regardless, analysing your mattress and pillow set up – with the help of our sports therapists at seventy9 Sports Therapy in Guildford – is often a worthwhile step in creating better sleep habits. The aim of reviewing your mattress and pillows is to ensure that you wake up well-rested and free of any muscular or joint discomfort.
Limit Caffeine and Alcohol Intake
Caffeine and alcohol can negatively impact your sleep quality. It is therefore important to limit your consumption of these substances, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime. Instead, opt for herbal teas or warm milk, which can have soothing effects on the body and mind.
Regular Exercise for Better Sleep
Regular physical activity can improve sleep quality, but try to avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime. Instead, engage in moderate exercise earlier in the day, which can help alleviate stress and promote better sleep at night. At seventy9 Sports Therapy in Guildford, we are very pro-exercise and see our role as helping patients return to activity as soon as possible. This often means finding alternative exercise types that do not impact your injury. Not only does this help maintain exercise as a habit, it can also help maintain your good sleep habits.
Manage Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can disrupt sleep patterns. Try to prioritise stress-reducing activities such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, or journaling, to ease your mind before bedtime. If necessary, consider seeing support from a therapist or counsellor to address and underlying stress and anxiety.
Limit Naps and Establish Healthy Sleep Associations
Whilst short naps can be beneficial, try to avoid lengthy daytime naps as they may interfere with your ability to fall asleep at night. Additionally, associate your bed only with sleep. Avoid using electronic devices or doing work in bed to create a strong mental association between your sleep environment and restfulness.
Avoid Heavy Meals Before Bed
Eating large or heavy meals close to bedtime can lead to discomfort and a disrupted sleep. Try to finish eating at least two to three hours before bedtime. The caveat to this is if you have exercised in the evening and therefore need to refuel, that takes priority, though making sensible choices with the content of that meal (both in terms of volume and also the types of foods included in it) can help to mitigate some of the impact this can have on sleep quality. This is especially important for the athletes that we work with at our sports therapy clinic in Guildford as we are also looking forward to the training in the day/days to come. Working within the multi-disciplinary team at Advance Performance, we have access to nutrition experts who can help in the planning and implementation of better fuelling habits.
At our sports therapy clinic in Guildford, we recognise the important of quality sleep for injury recovery, overall health and athletic performance. By implementing good sleep habits, our patients can optimise their sleep routine, have a positive impact on their well-being and aid their injury recovery, supporting their treatment and rehabilitation programmes. Prioritise consistent sleep schedules, create a relaxing bedtime ritual and design a sleep-friendly environment to improve the quantity and quality of your rest.
Our team of sports therapy experts is here to support you on your journey to injury recovery and better performance, holistically incorporating elements such as improved sleep quality into your programme. Contact us today to discover how our sports therapy clinic in Guildford can help you return to a full active lifestyle.