Rest is something we CrossFitters aren’t good at. In fact, we get yelled at for doing too much of it in a WOD. When the clock is running, it’s time to go, but there is a time to rest, too.
As you ramp up your training schedule, it is imperative that you get adequate rest and nutrition. And by rest, I don’t just mean taking a couple of days off from CrossFit every week. I mean sleep. Ever tried to CrossFit after a poor night’s sleep? Doesn’t work out too well, does it?
Sleep is much more important than most people realize. Did you know that inadequate sleep is actually linked to obesity and disease? If you’re trying to improve your health, but not sleeping enough, then you’re ignoring a vital component to your success.
I will admit that I have a hard time consistently doing what I’m about to recommend, but I know that I feel a lot better when I do:
- Turn off all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Yes, that’s right. Get off the computer, leave the phone in the charger, turn off the television, and dim the lights in your house. Read a book, pet the dog, talk to your spouse, or tuck in the kids. This helps your body to unwind and prepare for rest.
- Allow at least eight hours for sleep. Yeah, I know, that’s a hard one for me, too. We’re all busy, but sleep is more important than you realize. Would you skip a meal? A workout? Don’t cheat your body on rest.
- Sleep in a pitch-black, cool room. This is how our bodies are designed to rest. I leave my cell phone in another room and cover up my alarm clock with a towel. Seriously.
Sometimes I still have a lot of trouble falling asleep. My work day often feels like a WOD of life stuff – go, go, go, no time for rest. As soon as my head hits the pillow, my mind starts racing and making “to-do” lists for the next day. Here are a few things that help me relax at night:
- Epsom Salt. Soak in the tub right before bed with a cup or two of epsom salt dissolved in your bath water. It will help with muscle recovery, and you'll fall asleep more easily.
- Valerian Root. I have a tea with valerian root in it. A cup of that and a good book in a dimly-lit room and I'm out in no time.
- Sleep Works. This AdvoCare product works great as well. Ask Ben or your coach about it sometime.
As you’re getting into your spring routine, try to establish some new habits of rest. See how much good rest affects how you feel. Then see if you can rest less during that WOD.
When it’s time to go, GO. But don’t forget to take time for proper rest.