Good sleep is crucial for health, wellness and optimal mental and physical performance. Unfortunately, many of us have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, leaving us foggy and chronically lethargic with little energy to train well.

Our modern busy lifestyle of working late, over-training, eating poorly, consuming too much technology, and not managing stress and anxiety makes it difficult to get good quality and quantity sleep. Many of us are sacrificing sleep for binge sessions of Netflix or to squeeze in extra training sessions.

However, sleep is just as important, if not more, as exercise and fueling the body with healthy and nutritious food. In fact, there aren’t any health issues and injuries that can’t be improved with quality sleep and rest. It is during long periods of sleep that the body can restore and rejuvenate, repair tissue, synthesise hormones and grow muscle; yes, grow muscle.

What many athletes forget is that muscles are actually built when you rest and sleep. When we train we’re actually putting the body under strain and stress which, strange as it sounds, damages the muscles. A majority of the actual muscle growth in your body takes place during the rapid and sustained growth periods AFTER the workout during rest. This is why good sleep is scientifically shown to maximise performance. Train – eat – sleep – repeat.

All the top athletes in the world will profess the importance of rest, quality sleep and recovery. Usain Bolt is claimed to have said that sleep is the most important part of his daily training routine.

But how do we ensure we’re getting enough quality sleep?

My top 10 tips for good sleep:

1. Keep your bedroom dark and cool

2. Invest in a good quality mattress and pillows

3. Keep the bedroom solely for sleeping and sex. No TV, laptops or pets.

4. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, heavy meals and sugar when it’s late

5. Dim all bright lighting in the house 1-2hrs before bed

6. Reduce blue light exposure (light from electronic devices) 1-2hrs before bed

7. Diffuse lavender oil

8. Enjoy a warm Epsom salt bath

9. Post-race, wear compression recovery socks to help with achy legs

10. Download my Stretch and Sleep Guide’ for your 20-min easy bedtime yoga and meditation routine…

It has 7 restorative yoga poses and a short meditation to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Get the guide now!