10 Tips to Better Sleep for Optimal Recovery and Optimal Performance

Parents, athletes, and coaches have known for years that getting plenty of sleep is one of the most important factors in optimal recovery in sports.

However, it still seems that most athletes are sleep deprived and as a result, often not achieving full recovery from games, practices and/or workouts.

When discussing sleep, it is particularly important to understand that the greatest value is in getting deep sleep. Scientists say that there are 5 stages of sleep, beginning with light sleep, then moving on to deep sleep and finally REM sleep. Deep sleep occurs in stages 3 and 4. You can only get to stages 3 and 4 by first experiencing stages 1 and 2. All too often, our sleep is disrupted throughout the night, limiting our amount of deep sleep. Each time we are disrupted, we begin again at stage 1. It takes about 90 minutes for a complete cycle of stages 1 through 5. This is optimal: deep, uninterrupted sleep.

So, why is deep sleep so important?

This is where the body goes through natural restorative processes such as the release of growth hormone, which plays a major role in tissue repair (such as muscle). Not getting restful sleep and allowing the body to get to stages 3 and 4 denies the body of the best natural recovery methods available.

10 Tips to Better Sleep:

1. Make your room as dark as possible. Remove or eliminate any light sources such as computer monitors, TV’s, night lights, etc. If you cannot get the room really dark, you can try using a sleeping mask.

2. Make sure the room is at a comfortable temperature. Set the room temp to the way you feel most comfortable when you sleep. Our sleep cycles have a sensitivity to light. When our eyes and brain senses light, it sends a signal to “wake-up”, making it more difficult to get the deep sleep needed for optimal recovery.

3. Don’t eat high carbohydrate meals or snacks (or high glycemic foods—foods that digest quickly or spike your insulin levels rapidly such as white breads and starchy carbs) within 2 hours of going to bed. An acceptable snack would be something like a handful of almonds and an 8 oz glass of milk. The almonds have a slow release fat which will be metabolized slowly during the night, helping to fight any hunger pangs that might normally creep up during your sleep.

4. Remove any potential distractions or disruptions from your room (such as phone ringers, dogs barking, etc.). Remember, it is key to have uninterrupted sleep.

5. Add white noise from items such as fans, humidifiers, etc, or wear earplugs. It is important to keep it as quiet as possible. I know many people who like to fall asleep to the sound of the TV. Quite often, they are disrupted several times throughout the night by loud infomercials, flashy lights or other distractions from the TV. Replace the TV with a fan if you need noise.

6. Relax the mind and body before going to bed. It is almost impossible to fall asleep within 30 minutes after an intense workout. Relax the body, and relax the mind. Read a book, or meditate (really nice if you have a massage chair!) and prepare the mind and body for sleep.

7. Avoid too much caffeine consumption. Also avoid caffeine consumption after 2pm. Consuming large amounts of caffeine will have an effect on your sleep. If you are having trouble staying awake, try some physical activity. Do a few push-ups, sit-ups, stretch, jog around the room, jumping jacks, berpies, etc.—I think you understand.

8. Go to bed and wake-up at the same time every day. Consistency here is the key. The human body/mind likes consistency. Getting use to sleeping and waking at the same time daily helps create a rhythm and helps you achieve deep sleep on a more regular basis.

9. Get 8-9 hours of sleep daily. I know this is very tough for many of us, but studies still show that this is optimal. 9 hours is more preferred for teenagers or college athletes, while 8 hours is preferred for adults. If you cannot get 8-9 hours of sleep, refer to Tip #10.

10. Schedule your sleep in 90 minute intervals to help promote getting deep sleep. If you know you can only get between 4 and 5 hours of sleep on a given night, set your alarm for 4.5 hours. Waking up at the end of a sleep cycle (90min) will help you feel refreshed. Waking up in the middle or at the beginning will make you feel more sleep deprived and tired throughout the day.

Much has been written over the years regarding sleep studies and sports recovery. Taking advantage of your sleep as a recovery tool is a great way to help optimize your athletic performance.

If you are currently an in-season athlete, using recovery strategies and techniques, such as maximizing deep sleep and proper nutrition, are keys to performing at your best consistently throughout the duration of the season AND reducing your risk of getting injured.

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Matt Bartkowski with the Bruins "As you progress in hockey and aspire to get to higher levels, your off season training becomes increasingly important. Once I started training at Finish First I noticed a difference in my strength, speed, and power on and off the ice. There is no better place for a hockey player to train than Finish First. Where I am now in my career I can credit to Finish First, and I know continuing my training there will get me where I want to be."
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Christian Hanson "Coach Jeremy Hoy and Finish First is one of if not the main reason I am where I am today. If it were not for his sport-specific training programs, I could only have dreamt of making it this far. Any athlete who has any aspirations of making it to the next level is foolish to not train with Finish First. Regardless of your current skill, going anywhere else to train is a waste of time, money and talent."
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Matt Bartkowski with the Bruins "I've been forutnate enough to train with Jeremy and Finish First for almost 20 years. His training system specifically addressed my needs as a developing youth hockey player and changed to specifically address my needs as I matured as a player throughout juniors, college, and the pros. Using the Finish First Sports Performance training programs, I was able to play at my strongest, fastest, and in the best shape possible, while staying healthy for a long productive career. I can't recommend this training enough. If you do it, and commit to getting better, you will get better--guaranteed!"
--Sean Berkstresser (Voss), 9 Year Professional Hockey Player, RMU NCAA D1 Hockey Alum
Miss Pennsylvania America 2011, Juliann Sheldon "Training for the Miss America pageant included 6 weeks of intense training at Finish First Sports performance. Coach Jeremy Hoy put my physical endurance to the test and pushed me to my limit. In those intense weeks of physical preparation, I truly learned what It meant to be an athlete. Training at FFSP can help ANY pageant girl become an athlete - She will look and feel her very best. ..."
--Miss Pennsylvania America 2011, Juliann Sheldon
Miss Pennsylvania America 2010, Courtney Thomas "Working out at Finish First Sports Performance with Jeremy Hoy was by far the best workout experience I've ever had. I spent six weeks going to FFSP two and three times a day and each time I had a unique workout that helped me achieve the results I desired. Jeremy was always so encouraging and pushed me both physically and mentally to reach my full potential. I went to Miss America in the best shape of my life and felt so confident and prepared..."
--Miss Pennsylvania America 2010, Courtney Thomas
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Miss Pennsylvania America 2009, Shannon Doyle "I spent six weeks at Finish First Sports Performance working intensely with Coach Hoy to prepare for the Miss America pageant. I worked out three times a day, every day! Coach Hoy pushed me harder than I ever could have imagined possible. When I felt defeated, he always had an inspirational story or quote to re-inspire me, and then he would push me harder. Jeremy saw an inner-strength and confidence in me even when I struggled to see it in myself. ..."
--Miss Pennsylvania America 2009, Shannon Doyle
Chris Kushneriuk, Professional Hockey Player for the Bakersfield Condors "Prior to training with Jeremy Hoy and the team at Finish First, one of the biggest knocks I received from coaches was my endurance. I would slowly wear down as the season went on, which would make me lose a step in a game where every inch is so important. Since I began my off-season training with Jeremy's programs in the summer of 09' this has no longer been an issue. ...Jeremy has made me a much more explosive and confident power forward. ..."
--Chris Kushneriuk, Professional Hockey Player (Retired)
Brock Meadows, Professional Hockey Player, Texas Brahmas "Jeremy Hoy and Finish First Sports Performance has by far been the best sport-specific training I've ever experienced. I've played for many teams and have had countless different trainers and training programs, and they weren't even close. The program is designed for me as a hockey player, to improve my performance on the ice. Hoy's program allowed me to stand out in hockey and move on to the next level. ..."
--Brock Meadows, Professional Hockey Player, Texas Brahmas (Retired)
Elyse Healy, Top 10 Miss PA 2010 "Having competed at the local, state and national levels before coming to Jeremy, I always knew how I wanted to look but never got precisely the results I was striving for. With FFSP, I was able to SURPASS my expectations and become the strongest competitor I could be. Combined with expertise in training, nutrition and overall health, I thank Jeremy and his staff for making me both mentally and physically STRONG! ..."
--Elyse Healy, Top 10 Miss PA 2010
Shauna Rice, 2009 & 2010 Preliminary Swimsuit Winner and Top 5 Finish "I trained under Jeremy Hoy at Finish First Sports Performance in preparations for the 2009 and 2010 Miss Pennsylvania pageants. I am proud to say that I was a preliminary swimsuit award winner both years! Jeremy gives his full attention to his clients and creates their routines and diet plans specifically for them. Jeremy trained me in ways I have never experienced before. New exercises, new muscles, and new pains! ..."
--Shauna Rice, 2009 & 2010 Preliminary Swimsuit Winner and Top 5 Finish
Denny Urban, Professional Hockey Player, Reading Royals "Each and every year you need to make sure that you are in your top shape when heading into the season. With the customized training that Jeremy Hoy and Finish First gives you, you get into your top shape so you have that edge over the other people. I can credit Finish First and Jeremy Hoy for where I am now in my career and where I want to be. If you are serious about making it to the next level and want to gain that edge over the others then I recommend training with Jeremy Hoy and Finish First."
--Denny Urban, Professional Hockey Player
Michael Houser, Goaltender, London Knights (OHL) "Jeremy and the coaches at Finish First Sports Performance have helped me prepare for each hockey season through intense hockey specific training. With the rigorous schedule of major junior hockey, my training experience at Finish First has helped me to stay strong and not wear down through the long season, and helped me to finish the year as strong and explosive as I started it."
--Michael Houser, Professional Hockey Goaltender
OHL Player of the year 2011-12
CHL Goaltender of the year 2011-12
Andrew Lister, RMU Men's ACHA D1 Ice Hockey "Training is a great way for an athlete to separate themselves from their competition. Finish First Sports Performance offers a unique training program that is tailored to your personal goals. As a hockey player, I quickly recognized the importance of lower body strength. My goal, when coming into Finish First, was to increase my leg strength. Coach Jeremy Hoy and his workouts have pushed me to reach my goal..."
--Andrew Lister, RMU Men's ACHA D1 Ice Hockey
Matt White, Professional Ice Hockey Player "I have been training with Coach Hoy for over five years and without his help and expertise I know that it would never have been possible for me to be where I am today. In training with Coach Hoy and the hockey specific training regimen he has designed, I have seen significant improvements each summer in my explosion, quickness, agility, strength, and endurance..."
--Matt White, Professional Ice Hockey Player
Parker Milner, Professional Ice Hockey Goalie "I have been working with Jeremy Hoy and Finish First since I was 12 years old, and he was the first person who taught me the importance of off-ice training. The unique, athlete specific training tailored to your particular sport is what makes Finish First so special. When you walk into Finish First, you know that you are stepping into an environment that will challenge and bring out the best in you..."
--Parker Milner, Professional Ice Hockey Goalie (2xNCAA D1 Champ)
Nick Jones, Professional Ice Hockey Player "When it comes to finding the perfect athletic performance training in Pittsburgh, the search starts and ends at Coach Hoy’s Finish First Sports Performance. As my hockey career has progressed, my off-season workouts have only gotten more and more essential. The sport-specific workouts put together by Coach Hoy and his staff has helped me add strength, speed, and endurance to my game that I did not possess before..."
--Nick Jones, Professional Ice Hockey Player
Noah Zamagias, Collegiate Golfer "Finish First Sports Performance and Jeremy Hoy are a true testament of passion and drive in personal health and fitness. With Coach Hoy and Finish First, I've found the same drive and discipline that is needed in finding and maintaining personal success and growth. Jeremy's principles and work ethic have pushed me to finding more inside and outside of the gym. Finish First breeds success and guarantees results..."
--Noah Zamagias, Collegiate Golfer
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--Drew Bohn, PGA Professional





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COACH HOY'S READING CORNERCoaches reading corner



Kingdom Man: Every Man's Destiny, Every Woman's Dream

By Dr. Tony Evans

“A kingdom man is the kind of man that when his feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, ‘Oh crap, he’s up!’”

So begins this powerful volume from Dr. Tony Evans, now in softcover. Tony believes that God wants every man to be a world-changer.

He skillfully takes readers along a journey through the principles of biblical manhood, exploring how those who live, work, and minister around a kingdom man benefit from his leadership and care. Men will be challenged to fully understand their position under God as well as their position over what God has given them.

Equipped with these concepts, they can actively pursue ways to maximize and develop the character qualities of biblical manhood in their lives.

As Tony contends, the enemy doesn’t want you to know it, but you’re not the man you think you are. You’re a whole lot more. Starting now, you can be a kingdom man.



"This books is an excellent guide for any man who wants to live by God's design for male leadership in a family!"--Jeremy Hoy




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