There is growing research into the importance of sleep for recovery and the prevention of injury. Studies have shown that less than 7 hours sleep a night can increase the chance of getting injured by over 1.7 x compared to those sleeping for 8 hours or more (Milewski et al., 2014). Sleep quality is also essential in minimising the risk of injury and improving performance.
Here are our key messages to help enhance sleep quality and duration:
Aim for 7-9 hours sleep per night.
Avoid caffeine and food/fluid ingestion leading up to sleep.
Try to avoid bright screens before bed although there is some research that you can watch and not play.
Try to maintain a sleep routine: consistent time each night for falling asleep and waking up.
Avoid the use of mobile phones and social media before sleeping as this has been shown to decrease the quality of sleep.
Chill out. Stress before bed can disturb sleep. Try writing a to-do list to get things off your mind.