How many hours do I need, and what time should I get to bed? These are both frequently asked questions, and if you are training hard, is a very good question!
Research has not yielded any hard and fast rules as differences in age, stress levels, activity levels, and genetics make it personal to you.
HOWEVER, here are 5 things that will help you decide how much and when;
Recovery: During sleep, the majority of protein synthesis (muscle repair) occurs.So if you are training hard, you will need plenty of sleep to recover effectively for the next session
Time: Earlier is better – Studies reveal that hours of sleep before midnight are significantly better for renewal of cells and sleep quality is higher
Depth: Studies on circadian (natural day) rhythms reveal that not just time but depth of sleep key to brain and physical renewal. Alcohol, caffeine and backlit devices (computers/mobiles etc) before bed can all significantly affect the depth of sleep and it’s effectiveness in providing energy renewal.
Memory: Research also reveals that we commit much to memory during sleep. So, if you want your brain to perform optimally, get your head down!
Power napping!? A contentious issue; many disagree, but one thing that is not so contentious is that power naps are effective for physical stress relief. As a rule of thumb, 20 mins is enough: much more and your longer night-time sleep can be impaired!
Justyn Moore – Trainer/Nutritionist