Keys to better sleep during the school year



Irik Johnson is the Chief Performance Officer for Fast Twitch, an Under Armour Elite Training Company with multiple facilities in the South Florida area. Irik earned a master’s degree in Sports Science from Ithaca College and has over ten years of experience in the performance industry.

The 2016 school year is in full swing, and it’s important to make sure we are doing all of the little things right. Trying to balance your day between school, homework, practice and family time can be a struggle if you are not taking care of your mind and body. One way to stay fresh and active during this time is to make sure you’re getting the most out of your sleep.  It sounds easy, but how serious are you about your sleep or night time routine? Are you staying up late watching TV and eating unhealthy foods? Doing this on a consistent basis will negatively affect your health and performance. Instead, focus on building and maintaining a great routine before bed. This will lead to success the following day in the classroom and in your after school activities. A healthy night of sleep will help prevent injuries, boost energy, and give you a head start on anything you’re looking to achieve. Avoid these 3 things before bed, and watch your sleep patterns and productivity improve:    

  1. Avoid blue light from Smartphones/Tablets before bed: The blue light emitted from smartphones and tablets can have a negative effect on your melatonin levels, a hormone that signals to your body that it is sleep time. Using these devices right up until bed time will prevent you from having the proper sleep cycles you need to be effective the next day. Some devices now offer a setting to eliminate blue lights, check under your display settings. For the best results, try reading a book, reviewing your school work, or simply relaxing to prepare your system for a healthy night of sleep.
  2. Avoid food or drinks with caffeine before bed: Caffeine is a stimulant that can be beneficial before exercise or to improve focus, but too close to bedtime and it will prevent you from falling asleep. Try drinking water or decaffeinated tea to hydrate and assist with your bedtime preparation.
  3. Avoid heavy or intense exercise before bed:  Intense workouts have a tremendous benefit on your mental and physical development, however if they are done too late in the evening they can leave your system stimulated for too long. This has been proven to negatively affect sleep patterns. Try to exercise in the morning or sometime in the afternoon to allow your body the proper time to recover before bed.

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