Rugby Tip of the Month – Rest Easy!

So many young athletes I speak to these days have trouble sleeping. Reasons given for having disrupted sleep include things such as the bed, the temperature, their phone (or other technology), their stomach or their thoughts. Here are a few simple tips to help you fall asleep more easily and ensure you receive consistent sleep each and every night: Temperature: Studies have shown that a cooler setting will help slow down your heart rate and help your body slip into a “Rest and Digest” state. The ideal temperature is between 65-68 degrees (Fahrenheit), when possible. Technology: The bright lights of your computer, phone, tablet and television actually ‘wake-up’ different parts of the brain. Aim to avoid technology about 1-hour before going to bed. If you MUST view a screen, using Grayscale (under display settings) is a great way to minimize the bright colors (aka “blue light”) that stimulate areas of the brain.

Stomach/Body: Going to bed on a full stomach can prevent your body from falling into a deep, restful sleep. Set a goal of eating 2-3 hours before going to bed so that your body has time to digest before trying to fall asleep. In situations where you have a late practice, make smart choices on what you eat later in the evening and be sure to avoid a lot of foods high in sugar (sodas, desserts, etc). Thoughts: Following a simple static stretching routine can help relax your body before trying to rest. Even lying very still and focusing on taking slow, deep breaths can shift your mind away from all your thoughts or ideas and focus more on resting. Schedule: Just like having a game plan helps the team perform better, creating a bedtime routine can help you rest better. Start one hour before bedtime by taking a shower and brushing your teeth. Then pick out your clothes for the next day, prepare your meals (breakfast and lunch) ahead of time, then finish by writing out your accomplishments from the day or your goals for tomorrow. Want more advice on how to maximize your sleep/recovery? Send an email to

Available on February 2, 2019? Planning to be in the Bloomington area? Be sure to check out the Kilograms 2 Kilometers Seminar. Attendees will have the chance to hear from legendary coach Ed Cosner from Tight 5 Performance and complete, as well as receive feedback on, athlete performance tests (jump tests, sprint tests, etc).