Improve sleep through diet
Sleep has many important physiological and cognitive functions, particularly for elite athletes, but not uniquely.
Not stop being a complex state from a physiological and behavioral point of view, but it has two basic moments:
- No rapid eye movement (NREM phase).
- Rapid eye movement (REM).
An electroencephalogram wherein the electrodes measure electrical brain activity is used to identify the different stages of sleep. NREM is divided into four stages (S1 to S4 on the bottom), which are associated with a progressive increase in the depth of sleep to reach the REM phase, characterized by muscle weakness, bursts of rapid eye movement and dreams. It is considered that REM sleep is a physiological condition in which the brain is activated in a paralyzed body.
When the deeper stages (S4 AND REM) undertake, it also influenced learning, memory, cognition, pain perception, immunity, and inflammation. Furthermore, changes in glucose metabolism and neuroendocrine function as a result of chronic sleep partial deprivation and may result in alterations in carbohydrate metabolism, appetite (via leptin and ghrelin), the intake of food and protein synthesis.
All these factors may ultimately have a negative influence on the nutritional, metabolic and endocrine status of an athlete; and therefore potentially reduce athletic performance.
For instance, it has been shown that wakefulness (lack of optimal sleeping capacity) is the greater night before an important event or competition. However, after metabolic and psychological stress requiring a test competition, the S4 and REM stages increase during the two nights after her. Of course, these phases are key to full recovery and should be part of the proper planning of training (understanding it within a lifestyle).
VS amount of quality sleep
The self-reported sleep average of the general population (non-athletes) is 6 hours 48 minutes during weekdays and 7 hours 30 minutes on weekends. However, athletes sleep more hours; or rather, they are longer in bed (an average of 8 hours 36 min +- 53 min). However, athletes take longer to fall asleep and sleep quality is worse.
Among athletes, 70% report sleeping problems, 43% say waking up early in the morning, and 32% wake up sometime during the night. Nerves by competition (60-77%), lack of familiarity with the surroundings where they sleep (for travel, for example) (29%), and noise in the room (17%) are identified as the main causes and make this the most important issue when an athlete feels fatigued or tired:
- Decrease sprint time
- Reduced muscle glycogen content
- Voluntary reduction of peak force
- Reduced voluntary activation
- Increased level of perceived exertion
- Reduction of maximum strength
That is, lack of sleep is the leading cause a certain amount of allegedly optimal training results in excessive and lead to overtraining.
Athletes who suffer from some loss of sleep can benefit from a short nap, especially if you expect a training session in the afternoon or evening. Comparing the performance speed after a night of partial sleep deprivation (4 total sleeping h), the results are better after a nap of 30 minutes (to finish eating) versus not do it. In terms of cognitive performance, napping is a “form of supplementation” yes been shown to have a positive effect on cognitive after a night of bad sleepless or tasks. It is important for cognitive training tactical evening.
Nutritional intervention to improve sleep
Adaptations to exercise and athletic performance should be understood from the neurophysiological perspective that encompasses the movements of a particular sport within a sport. Thus, research has identified a number of neurotransmitters associated with the sleep-wake cycle, among which include serotonin, the histamida gamma-aminobutyric acid, orexin melanin concentrating hormone, cholinergic, galanin, nodranelina e.
Therefore, nutritional interventions that can act on these neurotransmitters can also influence sleep. Carbohydrates, tryptophan, valerian, melatonin and other supplements and strategies are possibly promising, although research is minimal and inconclusive, so first, athletes and coaches should focus on finding good hygiene (environment methods) sleeping in order to maximize the quality and quantity of sleep.
- High GI foods like white rice, pasta, bread, and potatoes can promote sleep; however, it is recommended to consume more than 1 hour before bedtime.
- Diets high in carbohydrates can cause shorter sleep latencies.
- Protein diets can lead to an improvement in the quality of sleep (waking least overnight).
- Diets high in fat can negatively influence the total number of hours of deep sleep.
- When the total caloric intake is reduced, the quality of sleep can be disturbed.
- Small doses of tryptophan (1g) can improve both sleep latency and quality. This can be achieved by eating foods such as:
The melatonin supplements and foods with high concentration may decrease sleep onset time. Valerian has been used as grass properly to subjectively improve sleep quality; However, as with all supplements, athletes should be aware of the potential of possible contaminants in herbal products, and the risk of inadvertent positive drug test.