As a professional athlete, resting and sleeping is as important as training. It is something that is often overlooked, especially with the “more is better” mentality that follows wrestling and other combat sports. Sleep and rest, however, are just as relevant to a “normal” person (none of us are really normal) as it is to an athlete in his prime. Without enough of it, our lives and careers suffer. Our performance is well below our potential.

My wife and I have one daughter, a very well-behaved 2 year old. She is afraid of authority and doesn’t push her boundaries too often. Most would call her and “easy” baby. And STILL, my wife and I get to our wit’s end at least a few times per week. We get to that point where rational thinking and objectiveness are thrown out the window. Blood pressure rises, body heat rises and that shade of redness starts to saturate eyeballs. I’m exaggerating, but you get the gist of what I’m saying.

Often times, lack of sleep is one of the prime culprits of this disarray. Here are a few quick, easy tips to help promote better sleeping:

  • Bedroom=No phone zone! Your phone contains blue light. Blue light tells your brain that it is time to wake up; this goes back to our natural Circadian Rhythm. (There’s actually periods of time throughout the night that our bodies get the best sleep). Surfing your phone prior to bedtime puts your body in an awake state. Make your room as dark as possible.
  • Cut off caffeine! I’ve read that anywhere from 8-12 hours prior to bedtime should be the last time you consume caffeine. That late night soda or coffee just ain’t cutting it!
  • Shut off your brain an hour before bed. Relax. Do something mindless or relaxing. This is hard to do, and I’m not going to lie, I haven’t mastered it yet. I love reading, so going old school and reading by candle light might be my path. In my book, Driven, I refer to my thoughts as “aluminum in a microwave”; that’s not a good lead in to a good night’s rest. I know of a good book that may just put you to sleep…wait a minute!

Rest better so you can perform better!

I’d love to hear what keeps you from getting your best rest. Leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading!