REST UP AND RE­STORE

Both qual­ity and quan­tity are es­sen­tial when it comes to sleep, and a de­pri­va­tion of ei­ther will have im­me­di­ate and last­ing ef­fects on your health and fit­ness. Keep dis­rup­tion to a min­i­mum with these sim­ple hacks

Trail Running (UK) - - Training Tweaks -

TURN OFF TECH Check­ing Face­book at bed­time will im­pact the qual­ity of your sleep – and not just be­cause you saw a spoiler for Game of Thrones. It’s a no­brainer that time wasted read­ing what so-and-so had for din­ner would be bet­ter spent on shut-eye, but bright lights from screens also dis­rupt your body’s cir­ca­dian rhythm, throw­ing sleep cy­cles out of kil­ter and send­ing your brain into over­drive when you turn out the lights. CUT OUT CAF­FEINE Caf­feine acts on your brain by block­ing adeno­sine – a neu­ro­trans­mit­ter – from bind­ing to cells. Adeno­sine slows down cell ac­tiv­ity; by block­ing it, caf­feine causes cells to be­come ac­tive, hence it keeps you awake. You should avoid it in the af­ter­noon, too, as that ac­tiv­ity will have a num­ber of side ef­fects; ac­cord­ing to re­search by Fit­nessGenes, this in­cludes in­creased blood pres­sure, anx­i­ety and sleep prob­lems. WARM UP Be­fore you crawl into bed, con­sider wash­ing away the day; hav­ing a warm shower just be­fore bed­time will help to slow down cer­tain meta­bolic func­tions, such as your heart rate, breath­ing and di­ges­tion. It also low­ers your body tem­per­a­ture, which puts you in a prime state for sleep­ing – and that good qual­ity rest will help your mus­cles to re­cover from train­ing much more ef­fi­ciently.

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