Elite athletes like those at the Geelong Football Club are committed to good sleeping habits – because they know that a good nights sleep is the key to success. Elite athletes can often operate like students – where you’re sleep is the first thing you sacrifice to cram for an exam. As it turns out you could boost your concentration and performance as a student by adopting some of the Geelong Cat’s sleep habits.
The Geelong Cat’s football club is one of many elite sporting teams that monitors players’ sleep and fatigue levels, to enhance recovery and enhance performance. Lead by research fellow and sports scientist Jacquie Tran at Geelong Football Club, they realise that it is integral to observe and cater to the sleep needs of each player as an individual. But it’s not just elite sportspeople who can benefit from improving their sleep habits.
If you think about your next ‘big exam’ like a player thinks about their next ‘big game’, you could use the same strategies of an Elite athlete to improve your sleep and perform better.
Firstly, you should establish a routine that is right for you. There is no perfect bed-time or wake-up time for everyone. Some of us are morning people while others are night owls. And of course there is study, work, and social life that gets in the way. Just try to keep it consistent and avoid the big sleep-in on the weekend, as this will affect your sleep patterns. It’s common for nerves or stress to disrupt a player’s sleep the night before a big game, or for a student to stay up cramming the night before a big exam.
Having a good pre-bed routine and established sleep habits are particularly important on nights like these. The dietician at Geelong Football Club recommends eating 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed- so you’re not too full, or hungry. There are other simple yet effective strategies that the Geelong F.C players have used to boost their performance, that you could also benefit from. These include:
- limit your caffeine intake to 1 or 2 serves per day and avoid caffeine after 12pm.
- Put away your phone, laptop and other electronic devices 30-60 minutes before your bed-time.
- Sleep in a cool room, with a temperature around 15-20 degrees, but make sure you are comfortable. And eliminate as much light and noise as possible, eye-masks, ear plugs and black-out blinds can be helpful.
So whether you are running out to 90,000 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), or preparing to sit an important exam, it’s crucial that you sleep like an elite sportsperson, so you can study like an elite student.