If you are just joining the conversation, you can read tips 1-4
Tip #3- Sleep like an Olympian- If I have seen it once, I have seen it a thousand times! I come in from a late coaches meeting around 11:30 pm or even 12:00 and I blow my gasket when I have kids that have to compete before lunch, up and running around the hotel while mom or dad are sitting at the hotel bar. First things first, I was not invited so my feeling are hurt, but more importantly your child needs to be in the bed sleeping. Whether you are an all-star mini level 1 cheerleader or an Olympian going for the gold, sleep is an important part to peak performance.
What most people don’t realize about sleep, is that this is your body’s time to recover. Not enough sleep will give us a mental disadvantage. Our body’s ability to stay mentally sharp, our reaction time, our ability to remember, and our hand eye coordination is all impacted by a lack of sleep.
In an article by Cheri Mah, who led studies at Stanford University Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory, found that when athletes increased sleep time (with a goal of 10 hours of sleep every night for five weeks), their athletic performance improved. Because we want the day of competition to be routine, have your child go to bed each night and wake up each morning at the same time. Developing a proper sleeping pattern is as important as developing the proper technique to hit your elite stunt sequence.
It is important to optimize your sleeping environment! “The US Olympic committee enlisted sleep specialist and former NASA scientist Mark Rosekind to redesign the rooms at the Olympic Training Center in order to provide athletes with optimal sleeping conditions.” Here are just a few tips of how your room should be to help get the most out of your sleep.
- Use the bed to sleep in. Athletes should not be sleeping on the floor or bath tub to help save money.
- Avoid bright lights, and most importantly take the technology away 30 minutes before you go to bed. This will help the mind to prepare for a better and more quality sleep pattern
- Keep the room dark and at about 65 degrees.
- Buffer the intrusive noise! You coming back from the bar at 1:00 am is great for you, but it is not helping your child become successful.
Make sure you know what substances affect your sleep. Competition is like Christmas for most kids. They might struggle to fall asleep the night before a big event. Here are some tips to help your child get the sleep he/she needs. Take a warm bath before bed. This will help relax the body and clear the mind. Drink chamomile or peppermint tea to relax and prepare for sleep. Finally limit your caffeine intake in the afternoons and evening hours. The biggest thing the kids need to focus on is not drinking the extra large caffeine drink before turning in. If they get into a routine a month or two before they compete this will help.
The link to the article where this information was found is listed below.
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