World Sleep Day is today!

Happy World Sleep Day! Are you getting enough? Not if you live in the UK, read on to find out why.

Today – Friday 17th March – is World Sleep Day. Yes I know, I didn’t realise it was either. However it’s not just a cynical attempt to sell cards and WSD merch: I think. Instead it marks some serious research that is going into sleep and how the lack of it can have a big impact on our health.

As adults we should be getting around seven hours a night. And if you’re putting in hard efforts and big miles on the bike, then not getting enough sleep can play havoc with your recovery. So if you want to see more gains, or just feel better overall, maybe it’s time to pay attention to your sleep regime?

Who’s getting the best sleep?

But how can you tell if you’re getting a good night’s sleep? Well you can help yourself out by following the five steps suggested by Scott Burgett, Senior Director of Garmin Health Engineering;

1.            Having a solid routine – try to keep to regular sleep and wake-up times, even on weekends

2.            Avoid intense training sessions within an hour of bedtime

3.            Perform breathing exercises like meditation before bed

4.            Try to avoid big meals, caffeine, and alcohol before going to sleep

5.            As bedtime approaches, reduce exposure to blue light from phones, television and other devices

As well as offering a handy list of dos and don’ts Scott said, “We cannot underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep. It is vital that our bodies have ample time to rest and recover to allow us to handle anything that comes our way.” Can’t argue with that, whether it’s an early morning training session, or getting the kids to school and not falling asleep in your afternoon meeting!

Celebrating World Sleep Day by getting plenty of shut-eye

If I’m honest I’m probably worst at following rule no.5! Like most of us I’ll be checking last minute emails, seeing what the weather is like for tomorrow’s ride, or checking out the race highlights from that day. It’s just too easy, despite my Enduro watch reminding me when it’s time to wind down and switch off.

Not many of us are getting enough good quality sleep

Many of Garmin’s watches will allow you to track your sleep and will give you a score, so you can keep an eye on how you’re doing. The sleep score is a number from one to a hundred, the higher the number the better. The ranking goes, Excellent (90-100), Good (80-89), Fair (60-79) or Poor (0-60). As you can see, scoring 90 or above is an achievement — and Garmin say not many users are scoring high on a regular basis. Apparently only five percent of Garmin users achieved an average sleep score in the Excellent category.

As we get older the quality of our sleep lessens

How is this number arrived at? Using their own science-backed health data platform – Firstbeat Analytics – your Garmin watch will track your heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration rate, body movement and other important data to assign you a sleep score: as long as you wear it while sleeping.

If you want to take a look at one of the Garmin watches we’ve reviewed you could take a look Abi’s article on the Instinct Solar. And remember to enjoy World Sleep Day!

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