Whether your game has been off lately or you would enjoy more pep in your step on the green, your sleeping habits could be to blame. Not the amount of sleep you’re getting exactly, but your habits.
Our daily nocturnal shutdown revitalizes and prepares us for the next day, and, when you fail to fully take advantage of sleep, you won’t be able to perform optimally. There are five sleeping habits that can improve your golf game.
1. Keep a Strict Schedule
We are creatures of habit, and our bodies become accustomed to routine. In order to completely reap the benefits of sleep, it’s important that your sleep-wake cycle is consistently reinforced. You’ll feel more rested and get a better night’s sleep.
However, there’s one challenge. On those nights when your mind’s racing and you just can’t seem to doze off, don’t just lay there and try. Instead, get up and engage in something relaxing such as reading a book. You might even try eating foods that are known to encourage sleep such as turkey.
2. Food and Drink Intake
Your diet dictates your sleep patterns more than you may realize. For starters, never go to bed hungry or very full as the discomfort can cause you to have difficulty falling asleep. Furthermore, avoid drinking in excess before bed because waking up to use the restroom is disrupting and can easily show in your golf game.
Aside from food and drink, it’s also important to avoid nicotine close to bedtime. Cigarettes have stimulating effects that prevent you from falling asleep. On the other side of the spectrum, drinking alcohol in excess before bed can disrupt your sleep as well as debilitate you from enjoying a restful slumber.
3. Creating the Setting
To truly prepare for a game the next day, taking the time to create the right setting is crucial. Excess noise and distracting light significantly hinders you not only from falling asleep but also from truly resting. You should also invest in sheets with high thread count as they’re known to be more comfortable.
Temperature is another key factor of true comfort. Whether you prefer to have a cool breeze come in through the window or the relaxing sound of a fan blowing while you snuggle under the covers, do what makes you the most comfortable.
4. Napping Precautions
Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule can prove difficult if you’re prone to dozing off during the day (which can be a common symptom of something like sleep apnea). While a 20 minute power nap can provide you that extra boost in the late afternoon, some doze off and sleep longer than expected, and this causes them to stay up later than they should.
If you’re behind on sleep, napping is preferable to sleeping in, but ensure you do it at the right time. A daytime nap is less disrupting to your circadian rhythm, and this can help you avoid insomnia, a natural enemy of a great golf game
5. Don’t Abuse the Snooze Button
It’s tempting to hit the snooze button and indulge in just a couple more minutes of extra sleep. Sleeping in between the snooze alarms, however, is highly disrupting, and being continually woken back up doesn’t allow you the quality of sleep you’re intending. If you need to, set the alarm for a later time or go to sleep a little earlier.
End of story, just wake up.
If you want to shoot lower golf scores, a good place to look may be in your sleep. It’s hard to make birdies from your covers, but good rest will leak into every aspect of your game. Energy levels will peak, mental focus will sharpen and your body will respond to each situation better.
So do yourself a favor and go catch a couple zzzz’s!