Sleep like the Rhinos: The root of optimal recovery
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The importance of sleep is often overlooked. A good night’s sleep is the equivalent of the reset button on a computer, it returns the body back to its normal state each day.
Typically, adults should aim for eight plus hours of sleep a night, although this is individualised based on age, health and training schedule.
Deep sleep is achieved within one hour of falling to sleep and is a state of absolute rest, almost paralysis, when the body can truly begin to repair itself. The key to achieving deep sleep is allowing enough time and creating the right sleeping environment. By doing this, athletes optimise tissue growth, release important hormones and restock energy stores.
Sleep is also important for consolidating memories; reducing stress and it is a vital part of our learning process.
Typical signs of not achieving an optimal amount of sleep include, but aren’t limited to, drowsiness, feeling irritable, difficulty learning new information, poor short-term memory and cravings for unhealthy foods which often leads to weight gain.
For those struggling to achieve restful sleep having a routine can significantly improve sleep quality. Dr Jason Davidson, Head of Athletic Performance at Leeds Rhinos recommends six simple steps to achieve an effective sleep routine.
“Plan a wake-up time and work backwards to ensure the target number of hours sleep is achieved. Being consistent in a bedtime will help the body’s internal body clock.
“Avoid pre-bedtime caffeine and sugar, stimulants like these make it difficult to fall asleep.
“Keep the bedroom for sleeping and ban screen time in bed. The light from phones, tv’s and tablets stimulate the brain, keeping it awake. Adapt the environment to keep it clean, free of noise and at a cool temperature.
“Shun exercise before bed. Exercise wakes up the body and raises its core temperature, making it harder to fall asleep.
“Finally, take a warm (not hot) bath before bed, ensuring this is at least half an hour before going to sleep to allow the body to cool down.”
Research suggests that people with magnesium deficiencies are more likely to suffer from poor sleep quality. Maintaining sufficient levels of magnesium, along with a good sleep routine, will significantly help to improve sleep quality.
Andrew Thomas, founder of natural health company BetterYou, which works in partnership with the Leeds Rhinos, said “Poor sleep can have a dramatic effect on or health and magnesium can be one of the main factors affecting the quality of sleep we achieve.
“The body needs magnesium to maintain a state of complete rest and low levels can lead to restless muscles that can keep us awake at night”.
Jason goes on to say “It’s essential for the Leeds Rhinos to understand the importance of sleep and how it can affect their health and sporting performance. Once they have this, it is then about promoting good sleep hygiene and getting them into good routines.
“We then look to optimise sleep quality, particularly around training and match days. This includes using a mixture of BetterYou magnesium products such as the Magnesium Gel, MagnesiumOil Original Spray and the Magnesium Flakes”.
BetterYou is supporting the Rugby Super League Champions with its range of transdermal magnesium (through the skin) and oral vitamin spray supplements to bridge the gap between modern diets and the key nutrients and minerals the body demands. Ultimately improving athlete’s performance and enhancing recovery using the most innovative delivery methods available on the market.
betteryou.com/magnesium-oil-original-spray RRP £12.20
betteryou.com/magnesium-gel RRP £11.95
betteryou.com/magnesium-flakes RRP £9.95 (1kg)
betteryou.com/magnesium-body-butter RRP £9.95
betteryou.com/magnesium-body-lotion RRP £9.95