28 Nov, 2022
Better sleep for better recovery
We’re looking at how sleep can impact your recovery post-workout, and sharing some tips on how to improve your own sleep hygiene.
Refuelling with nutritious foods, stretching out your muscles, tending to any niggles – these are the basics of recovering post-workout. But, there’s another important component to recovery that can often fall to the wayside when you’re busy, and that’s sleep. Sleep is essential for optimum recovery, and prioritising your Zs can reap some serious rewards.
The mental impact of sleep
Sleep affects all areas of your body, from your hormones to your immune system, from your muscles to your brain. When you’re getting enough sleep, the mental benefits are huge.
You’re less mentally tired, your reaction times are faster, your accuracy when executing tasks is greater, you’re more enthusiastic when carrying out your day-to-day tasks, you’re more motivated to work towards your goals, you’re in a better mood – the list goes on.
The physical impact of sleep
Putting aside the mental benefits for a moment, enough sleep can also have a huge positive impact on your physical health.
You’re less physically tired, your muscles have sufficient time to repair and recover, your immune system can get to work, you can support your heart health, your risk of injury is lowered, and more.
The effects on recovery post-workout
In terms of post-workout recovery, sleep is your best friend. It’s an incredible tool that you can use to recover better, and it’s a pretty easy thing to prioritise each day. So, what do all the benefits we’ve listed above have to do with post-workout recovery? Let’s get into it.
By getting sufficient sleep, your muscles have enough time to fully recover and repair between workouts, which allows you to give your all in each and every session. You’re more likely to bounce back from a niggle more quickly than if you’re sleep deprived, and can avoid it escalating into a full blown injury. Your enthusiasm and motivation will help you to see your goals through more easily than if you’re feeling sluggish and lacking in drive. And so on.
How to improve your own sleep hygiene
If you’re the type of person who can lie down, close your eyes, and drift off within minutes – you’ve hit the sleeping jackpot. However, if you’re a little less lucky and find yourself struggling to sleep well, then it might be worth evaluating your sleep hygiene. Because after all, it’s not just the quantity of your sleep that matters, but also the quality.
Optimising your sleeping space – think soft lighting, your perfect temperature, minimal noise, maximum comfort – is one thing you can do to put your best foot forward each evening. The same goes for having a consistent night-time routine, and only getting into bed when you’re planning to wind down and sleep.
Pre-bed meditations on WithU
Another great way to level up your sleep is by practising some pre-bed meditation. Meditation has countless physiological benefits, including lowering your stress levels, slowing down your heart rate, and relaxing your mind. As a result, it pairs perfectly with a good night’s sleep.
Not sure where to start with meditation? Head to WithU where you can find our full suite of meditations, many of which will have you sleeping like a baby in no time.
We get it, sometimes life just gets in the way of your recommended 8 hours of sleep a night. But the good news is one hot day doesn’t make a summer, and the same goes for the odd night of less sleep. So long as you’re making a concerted effort to prioritise your nightly rest, you should be well on your way to supporting optimum recovery post-workout.
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