Some of you are still in season, playing for States, in the NCAA tournament, or started tournaments with your travel team. Getting a good night sleep before competition is super important. It might be hard to get a good night sleep before because of overthinking or possibly being nervous. How you sleep will be a big impact on how you perform the next day. All athletes need to have a lot of energy to compete well. If you end up staying up late, you won’t have enough battery life to perform the way you want too. Here are a couple of strategies to improve your sleeping pattern so your performance does not become jeopardize.

Simple Strategies:

1.  Aim for 8 hours every night. Consistency is key. If you do not get 8 hour regularly and then try to get 8 hours the night before competition, your body won’t be used to the much sleep. If you absolutely cannot get 8 hours a night, aim as close as possible to 8 hours.

2. Go to sleep at the same time every time. Your body needs to get into the rhythm of going to bed around the same time each night so you are able to get up at the same time each day. If you have to get up at 8:00 am, aim to go to bed around 10:00 pm. Start to go to bed in the beginning of the week so your body has time to get used to this. If you usually go to bed around midnight, and try to go to bed around 10:00 pm, your mind and body will still be racing because it is not used to going to sleep that early.

3. Avoid caffeine and sugar 6 hours before bed. Caffeinated teas, drinks, coffee, pop, soda, sugary sweets, etc. should all be avoided.

4. Have a comfortable temperature. Usually having the thermostat around 65-70 degrees is a good temperature to sleep without waking up from being too cold or too hot at night. Find what temperature works for you.

5. Pitch black. There shouldn’t be any light in the room. Cover any existing light up so it does not interrupt you trying to go to bed.

6. Don’t look at your phone or any electronics an hour before bed. This will help you shut down your mind.

7. Cold shower. You might feel like it is wakes you up but after, your body will warm up and relax you before bed.

8. White noise. Turn on a fan, listen to a soothing noise. Anything that will drown out any annoying background noises.

9. Minimize working and reading in bed. Your bed should be used for only sleeping. If you have to work or read in bed, make sure you sit up straight. Laying down is only for sleeping. Your body will know it is time to go to bed.
10. Warning yawn. If you end up yawning, make that a sign that you should go to bed within the next hour. Your body wants to go to bed, so let it rest.

11. Sleep aids. Drink teas that have naturally sleeping aids in them. If it has lavender in it, your body will know that the lavender smell means it is time to go to bed.

12. Keep your room neat. Cluttered room, cluttered mind. When your room is neat, your mind will be at ease.

13. Keep doors shut. It will help making everything look settled and your mind will settle easier as well.

Written by:

Sarah Grippi
Basketball Mindset