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5 ways to get better sleep that will make you ride faster

5 ways to get better sleep that will make you ride faster

Many cyclists struggle to get enough good-quality shuteye every night, which means you won’t recover as well as you should. If you’re not sleeping well,  it can heavily affect your performance. In other words, cyclists who want to perform well need to sleep well, and if you want to sleep well, you need to reduce stress.

That’s why sleep is one of the best ways to improve your cycling, but so many cyclists have a hard time getting enough good-quality shuteye every night.

How to relieve stress at bedtime

Studies have proven that lack of sleep is detrimental to athletic performance, so for many cyclists, reducing stress so they can improve their sleep could be the ticket to their next KOM. Here are a few ways to reduce everyday stress so you can get more sleep.

1. Take a warm shower or bath

Your body naturally begins to cool itself off as you get close to bedtime (do you ever find yourself reaching for a sweater in the afternoon?). This is intentional and is your body’s way of gradually preparing you for sleep. A warm shower or bath will initially warm your body up, which helps initiate this cooling-off process. As a side bonus, the warm water can be very soothing for your muscles, which can also relax your body and make it easier to fall asleep.

2. Journal

If you find you’re tossing and turning at night with thoughts and worries, consider keeping a journal next to your bed. Each night before you go to sleep, write down what’s worrying you to get them out of your head and onto paper. That alone can often reduce stress, but if that’s not enough, consider following that up with a to-do list for the next day to help put your mind at ease.

3. Schedule worrying time

This may sound a little silly, but it’s actually a common technique used in cognitive behavioural therapy. Each day, set aside a specific time when you’re going to go through all the things in your mind that are worrying you. The goal is to address the cause of each of these worries before they get out of hand.

4. Use meditation/mindfulness practices

Mindfulness meditation (observing your thoughts, feelings and emotions as they pass through your mind without judgment), body scan meditation (slowly concentrating on parts of the body and noticing any sensations or pains), guided meditation (being verbally guided through a meditative experience) or deep breathing are all great additions to your bedtime routine to improve your sleep.

5. Avoid exercising too close to…

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