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Sleeping Tips

Training Table 

With the start of daylight saving time, we “lose” an hour of sleep. There is no better time to look at sleep issues affecting busy grown-ups and kids—especially young athletes whose schedules may have already been thrown off by evening games. Sleeping properly is important because the body repairs itself most efficiently during this time. We can’t control all the factors that interfere with sleep, but we can create environments and adopt habits that encourage a more restful night. Try these five tips for a more restful sleep for you and your hockey players:

  • Avoid eating or drinking large amounts before bedtime. Try to allow for 2 hours between a meal and bedtime so the body has time to digest the food. Also, large amounts of liquid right before bed can lead to frequent bathroom trips and disrupted sleep during the night. Try to consume the majority of fluids throughout the day.
  • Avoid stimulants in the evening. Chocolate, energy drinks and bars, pop, black and green tea and coffee beverages contain caffeine. Caffeine can keep you up, so limit consumption of these products for a good night’s sleep.
  • Having difficulty falling asleep? Start a relaxing bedtime routine. Do the same things each night to tell the body it’s time to wind down. Consistency is key. Read a book, listen to soothing music or stretch with lowered lights. You can also try warm milk, a cup of hot lemon water or herbal tea before bed.
  • Limit engaging in “awake activities” in bed. Limit talking on the phone, eating, watching TV, texting or using the laptop in bed. This way, the body will associate the bed with sleepiness, not action. But reading is different—it can actually help focus your mind and prepare it for sleep.
  • Create a “sleep-friendly” bedroom. Your sleep environment makes a huge difference in the quality of your sleep. If possible, make your bedroom cool, dark and quiet. Studies show a bedroom that is too hot or cold can interfere with sleep quality. So you may want to think twice next time before you throw on a second blanket or tuck in your little one extra tight. Also, make sure everyone dims the lights before bed. This includes light from the TV, computer or any other electronic device because it can confuse your body’s clock and affect sleep quality. Remind everyone it’s lights out until morning!

Following these five tips, combined with engaging in physical activity—whether it’s a hockey game or practice for the hockey player, or a walk or gym workout for the parents—can help everyone in the household sleep soundly!