By: Tyler Angulo
While performance in the gym often seems like the focus in CrossFit, it is important to remember that muscles are grown outside of the gym. Inside the gym we tear our bodies down so that outside of the gym, through rest and nutrition, our bodies can rebuild themselves stronger and better. And since most of that rebuilding occurs is at night, your rest and recovery should be given just as much attention as your nutrition and training regimen.
So how do you go about sleeping better? It’s a long answer (and we’ll get there!) but start with prioritizing sleep. Make it as essential to your livelihood as going to work. Show up on time, don’t leave early, schedule everything else in your life around it. Take Rich Froning, arguably the best CrossFit athlete to compete in the sport thus far. The man averages 8-10 hours of sleep each night. Period. Regardless of what obligations may consume his waking hours, they do not compromise his rest time.
The goal here is to start taking your sleep seriously. Read a book before bed, avoid electronics at night, have some tea, use a sleep mask … do whatever it takes to effectively ease yourself into a good, deep night’s rest. But most importantly, be sure to give yourself those extra few hours at night to relax and recover. Just make sure you work hard enough during the day to earn it.
Bonus tip: having trouble getting to bed early? Trying waking up early. Shock the system; it will adapt. The first few days might be rough, but you will quickly find yourself feeling tired earlier in the night and avoiding whatever kept you up beforehand out of mere exhaustion from your efforts of the day.