Healthy Habits of a Triathlete #2: SLEEP & R&R
Top healthy habit of a triathlete #2: SLEEP
Sleep: a condition of body and mind such as that which typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is relatively inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended
If you want a healthy mind and body that's well rested, you need to sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation says you need 7 to 8 hours a night. However, just like being a triathlon rock star, there is no be-all end-all. You have to determine the right amount of sleep for yourself!
So how do you determine the right amount of sleep for you? Assess how you feel on different amounts of sleep. You might be productive, healthy, and happy on 7 hours or maybe 9 hours.
Here are some of our favorite ways to improve your sleep:
1 - be consistent with your sleepy time routine
2 - create a sleep conducive environment (turn off the tv and get off your cell phone!!), dark is good
3 - avoid caffeine and alcohol near bedtime
4 - (our favorite one): exercise regularly
5 - avoid eating 2-3 hours before bedtime
There's a whole foundation dedicated to sleep! Read so much more on SLEEEEEEP here.
Rest and Recovery are as vital in training as the swim, bike, and run workouts. Resting gives your body proper time to recover and build strength.
Rest: time spent sleeping or not training
Recovery: techniques and actions taken to maximize your body's repair (hydration, nutrition, stretching, stress management, and compression)... Recovery encompasses body repair, chemical and hormonal balance, nervous system repair, mental state, AND structural system (your muscles and tendons, ligaments, and bones).
A balanced combination of rest & recovery in your training plan will ensure your success as a triathlete!