BY DEAN KARNAZES
Sleep matters. The importance of sleep to an athlete has been well documented. During sleep, the body goes through many restorative cycles that help to repair, restore, and recalibrate physical and mental systems. The quality and duration of sleep are critical factors in determining how well the body can perform these essential functions.
Researchers at Harvard University have found that the final hours of sleep are the most important. This time window is when the body is in its deepest and most restorative sleep cycle. Being abruptly awoken during this period can prevent the body from fully recovering and lead to physical and mental performance deficiencies. Thus, setting an alarm to wake up can have more harmful consequences than you might expect.
I know that if I can wake naturally in the morning, versus being jolted from sleep by an alarm or loud noise, I feel much better during the day, and my performance is better, too. That is why an early morning race start puts the body in a compromised state before the gun even goes off. If only more races started at 10:00 AM!
I use Hammer Nutrition REM Caps to help me get to sleep early and stay asleep during the night. A natural sleep aid, REM Caps help me get deep, restorative sleep without leaving me feeling groggy or in a mental fog. And if I want to get some serious zzz’s, I turn to the Hammer Nutrition Sleep Trio Kit. Along with REM Caps, the Sleep Trio Kit includes Hammer Nutrition Essential Magnesium and broad-spectrum CBD Tincture. Together, this combination is especially advantageous after races or big training days.
The benefits are numerous if you can plan your schedule to allow yourself to wake naturally. And with Hammer Nutrition as a trusted partner, sleep is again your friend.
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Dean Karnazes is an ultramarathoner and Hammer Nutrition-sponsored athlete. He has raced and competed across the globe. His latest book is A Runner's High.