Strawberries, scones, and Pimm’s – it’s that time of year again, as tennis-fever sweeps the nation.
With the Wimbledon final looming, many of us have been inspired by the heroics we’ve witnessed on the professional courts in recent weeks.
So with rackets in hand, budding players among us have been flocking to the park for a piece of the action, but we might not have thought about how we can be using sleep to our advantage too.
Sleep can help you be a better athlete
Silentnight’s resident sleep therapist, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, has spent years helping people settle nerves and relieve stress at bedtime, and has even worked with professional footballers, offering sleep advice before crucial games.
When we have such heavy, physical demands on the body, as tennis players do, it’s crucial we give ourselves time to relax and unwind. This helps to restore our energy levels so we’re able to reach our full potential.
It all stems from attitude. Even if you’re nervous the night before an important match, it’s important to remain optimistic about sleep.
Dr Nerina said: “We need to relax our attitude about sleep. Lots of people find that they wake up tired and lacking in energy, and this can sometimes be down to the quality of sleep they’ve had the night before.
“If your sleep isn’t 100% restorative, you may wake up feeling stressed and anxious which can really deplete your energy levels.”
If stress is disrupting your sleep – just try to relax, and remember Dr Nerina’s top three tips for reassurance:
- It’s entirely normal to wake up during the night
- It is possible to sleep with your eyes open. You might actually be getting more sleep than you think (or measure) while you’re reading a book or watching TV
- Sometimes not sleeping well is perfectly normal
Sleep can help to restore your energy
Our sleep expert, Dr Nerina, has worked with many athletes to help them maximise their sleep to aid performance.
She insists that energy doesn’t just come from a good night’s sleep. It also comes from the food we eat, the exercise we do, the way we breathe, our relationships, the way we think, and how we use our minds.