There are myriad reasons we don't get enough sleep, but juggling working from home, childcare and looking after our mental health during a pandemic has perhaps taken the most toll on our sleep patterns. And did you know that men and women suffer from different sleep issues? And, as you probably guessed, how we nourish our bodies also has a lot to do with it. Kinetica's nutrition experts have simple ways to aid our sleep recovery.
It's too early to tell what impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on our mental and physical wellbeing, including our sleep patterns.
But we do know that a healthy sleep pattern is imperative to our overall health and well-being. We also know that insufficient sleep is considered an epidemic of its own and one that often goes unrecognised and under-reported.
Why do we need more sleep?
One of the most immediate positive impacts you can accomplish through a good night’s sleep is increased productivity throughout your day. In fact, employees who have closer to eight hours of sleep are less likely to miss days at work, are more efficient when present and make better judgement calls at work.
Sleep also contributes to your performance in both sport and exercise. In fact, the two can complement each other. Scheduling in a 30-minute jog during lunchtime or after work can help your body to relax in the evening as you prepare for bed, allowing you to drift unknowingly into your dreams at night.
Less time spent tossing and turning means you’re more likely to be feeling invigorated in the morning to try a new workout or take that hike you haven’t felt up to in a while.
And it may come as no surprise to ladies reading this that biological factors, such as menopause, pregnancy and menstrual cycles, can affect our sleep differently to men. Menopause in particular is linked to sleep problems, with over 61% of menopausal women having difficulty sleeping due to excessive sweating and hot flashes.
Even elite athletes aren't immune to sleeping issues. According to research from the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, for 82% of athletes, the main issue is getting to sleep.
Poorer sleep quality has been shown to have negative impacts on athletes' competition rankings and a chronic lack of sleep
can lead to an increase of injury.
The experts at Kinetica Sports have outlined simple yet effective tips on how to improve your sleeping pattern, whether you're a high-performance athlete or are aiming to catch some much-needed Zs.
How to improve your bedtime routine
Daily exercise has been shown to help the onset of sleep. Imagine your bedtime routine and ask yourself if there are areas you can change. For the 30 minutes preceding bedtime, you should ideally be turning down the lights to almost darkness and having the last look at your phone or computer. The blue light from the screens of technology restrict the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your biological clock, which might explain why, despite feeling tired when you put your phone down in bed, you end up lying there wide awake afterwards.
Ideally, the room should be slightly cool in temperature and you should be trying to mentally wind down. If there’s a possibility to let in the morning light this can be a top tip for those of us who take longer to get up the next day.
Can supplements help you sleep?
The answer is yes. Kinetica Zinc Mag+ capsules were created to help provide the best nutrient support prior to sleep. Team Kinetica recommends taking three capsules 30 to 60 minutes before bed for the best effect.
Each capsule contains a scientifically designed blend of functional ingredients to help you sleep, vitamins and minerals, including zinc, magnesium, vitamins B6, C and E.
Another interesting benefit from Kinetica Whey Protein and Lean Active Protein products is that they can also support good sleep hygiene as they contain tryptophan, an important amino acid. Tryptophan breaks down in the body to serotonin which in turn becomes melatonin, a key ingredient to support the process of falling asleep.
Kinetica Whey Protein contains 0.43g of tryptophan per 30g scoop and there is some evidence to show that as little as 1g of tryptophan can improve sleep quality. Many athletes and weekend warriors take one to two scoops of these products before bed in addition to Zinc Mag+ to aid with sleep and support recovery by preventing muscle breakdown overnight.
For more information, visit kineticasports.com.
This article is brought to you by Emily Murphy, Team Kinetica.
Photos 1 and 2: Shutterstock.
Product photos: Kinetica Sports.