SLEEP

Sleep for Success
 
Rest is a Weapon
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Sleep is one of the most important things we do as human beings.  Many studies suggest we should get seven to nine hours of sleep daily.  For athletes, sometimes even more is required in order to heal and recover from physical exertion.  Here are some things you can do to ensure you get your best rest!
 
Build your Nest
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1. Get a good mattress.  A good mattress doesn't have to be an expensive mattress.  Have you ever slept at a hotel or guest’s house to find you just had the best night's sleep of your life!!!  Well don't just accept whatever you are sleeping on. Find out what mattress that is and go get one!!!!!
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2. Get a pillow you can't do without. 
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3. Blanky?  Get sheets that you can't sleep without and are comfortable for you.  Personally I like jersey knit!!!
Quick Summary on the Stages of Sleep
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There are two parts to sleep: Stages of Sleep and Sleep Cycles.  When sleeping humans pass through five stages of sleep: 1, 2, 3, 4 and REM (rapid eye movement aka stage 5). These stages progress cyclically from 1 through REM (5) then begin again with stage 1. A complete sleep cycle takes an average of 90 to 110 minutes, with each stage lasting between 5 to 15 minutes.  Over the course of the night, the body will go through this five-stage cycle four to six times.
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Stage One- or hypnagogic sleep.  Within minutes (sometimes seconds) of nodding off, your brain produces what are called alpha and theta waves and your eye movements slow down. This introduction to sleep is relatively brief, lasting up to seven minutes. Here, you are in light stage sleep, which means that you’re somewhat alert and can be easily woken.
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Stage Two- sleep boosts alertness, focus and motor skills. 
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Stages Three and Four- aka, slow wave sleep.  During these phases, your body restores its tissues while your brain deletes useless information and enhances your conscious memory.  most toxins are flushed from your brain during slow-wave sleep.
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Stage Five- REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, is the main dreaming phase. Believed to help creativity, perception, memory and complex learning.
Nap Time
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For hockey players, a game day nap can really help you feel better come game time.  There are all kinds of different incites on napping, it's endless. The point is try out different time frames and figure out what works best for you and in what situations!
  • 20-minute nap (for energy and alertness): two minutes of stage one sleep and 18 of stage two.
  • 35-minute nap (energy, alertness and mind-clearing): two minutes of stage one, 23 of stage two and 10 of slow-wave.
  • 60- to 75-minute nap (all the above, plus a creativity boost): two minutes of stage one, 28 of stage two, 25 of slow-wave and five to 20 of REM.
  • 90-minute nap (the “perfect nap” because it mimics the balance of stages you get during nocturnal sleep): five minutes of stage one, 35 of stage two, and 25 each of slow-wave and REM. Studies suggest that (in already well-rested adults) this can give you the same benefits as a seven-hour night of sleep, however it can also leave you feeling groggy when you wake up.
     
    Sleep Debt
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    Sleep debt is the effect of not getting enough sleep.  Sleep debt is cumulative, meaning it adds up!!! Even just getting an hour or two less sleep a night for several days will really add up and affect your performance mentally and physically.  Eventually, you will need to make up this lost sleep to feel "normal" again.
    Care to learn more...
    https://www.howsleepworks.com/need_debt.html
    Trouble Falling Asleep
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    As an athlete, sometimes falling asleep can be very difficult.  Whether it's after a game and you are still wide awake and fired up come bedtime, or you are restless the night before a game consider trying a couple things.
     
    #1- Use the “4-7-8” Method
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    Championed by best-selling author Dr. Andrew Weil, the “4-7-8” breathing technique is a practice to help you fall asleep fast. The method is said to relax you by increasing the amount of oxygen in your blood stream, slowing your heart rate, and releasing more carbon dioxide from the lungs.  Here’s how you do it:
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    1. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise.
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    2. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
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    3. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
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    4. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
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    5. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
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    6. Repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
      #2- Listen to Music
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      Classical music, or any music that has a slow rhythm of 60 to 80 beats per minute, can help you fall asleep.  Look up "binaural beats" on YouTube they were created to help you relax.  I
      I especially recommend checking out the dreampad, https://dreampadsleep.com/
       
      #3- Try Reading or Get Up & Complete a Task
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      After all that, if you're still really restless try reading a book.  Especially one that helps you relax! Also, consider getting up to complete a task to get something done or accomplished eventually this should make you tired and ready for bed.
       
      Dream Interpretation
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      Keep a dream journal.  The subconscious mind speaks through imagery and symbolism.  There is a great quote, "If a picture is worth a 1,000 words then a symbol is worth 1,000 pictures."  A symbol has different meanings from different perspectives. The subconscious mind leaves signs for us, especially in our dreams.  There are many dream interpretation websites. Try using them to find meaning in your dreams this simple act will spark your growth and development in learning more about yourself.