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Fixing Sleep Depravation, Holiday Specials, and 'Show Us Your Selfie'--->, FF Insider#111
November 18, 2014
Welcome Back,

Please enjoy another issue packed with evidence-based information about fitness and sports performance training and news about current events at Finish First Sports Performance. If you find value in this e-newsletter, please forward this message to your teammates, coaches, or other parents of hard working athletes so that they, too, may benefit from the information contained herein.

Remember, it is our goal to help you prepare to be your best when it matters most. Enjoy, and may you continue to pursue excellence in all that you do.

For additional articles about fitness and performance training, sports psychology, nutrition, and coaching, please visit our blog at Finish First Blog

Finish First Sports Performance is the official training/performance coaching provider for the Youngstown Phantoms USHL Hockey Team, the Robert Morris Univeristy NCAA Division 1 Men's and Women's Ice Hockey Teams, the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite youth hockey organization, and the Miss Pennsylvania Scholarship Organization.

Inside this Issue:

To bring you the very best information, this newsletter focuses on fitness and performance training principles for athletes and fitness clients, and how to use them to make sure you are on the right track. Enjoy!

1. Performance Article: Sleep and Performance: 10 Ways to Fix Sleep Issues

2. Special Announcements: Submit Your Selfie Video, and Holiday Specials

3. Motivational/Inspirational Quote

4. Thank You


The 3 Responsibilites of a Finish First Sports Performance Coach:

1. to make athletes mentally and physically fit for competition

2. to keep athletes mentally and physically fit in competition

3. to restore athletes mentally and physically after competition

10 Tips to Better Sleep for Optimal Recovery

By Jeremy S Hoy, MS, CSCS, PES, USAW, NASE Director of Performance Science and Coaching

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.

For more information about sleep and performance, please contact an expert performance enhancement coach at Finish First Sports Performance to schedule an educational session. You can reach us 412.299.9200 or

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• Why eating less (calorie restriction) and exercising more is a prescription for failure (“Yo-Yo Dieting” comes from this.)

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Okay, I’m ready. Now, what do I do next? Call 412-299-9200, visit www.finishfirstsports, email, or stop by one of our training centers to reserve your spot. Space is limited to the next 20 registrants, so sign up now! Not ready yet? Visit our website and check out our FREE videos and other resources, sign up for our FREE newsletter and stay tuned in for upcoming programs and success stories from people just like YOU!

Announcements/Upcoming Events:

  • Back by popular demand....the 2014 Holiday Specials. All package specials are pay in full at time of purchase, and these special offers are only available to purchase for a limited time....

    So hurry and get them now before they are no longer available!

    6 Pack of 1 month unlimited vouchers (kinda like gift card for 6 unlimited months) for $1000 Savings of $800!!! (expire in 24 months)

    3 Pack of 1 month unlimited vouchers for $600 Savings of $300!!!! (expire in 12 months)

    60 Training Sessions for $1000 Savings of over $600!!! (expire in 24 months)

    30 Training Sessions for $600 Savings of over $150!!! (expire in 12 months)


    Submit your own selfie video answering the question:

    “Why Did I Choose Finish First Sports Performance?”

    In 1 Minute or Less tell us why you chose Finish First Sports Performance, and if you have been with us for a while, tell us what you like about using our services.

    If your video is selected, it will be featured on our website, our facebook pages and twitter feeds, our blog and our newsletter.

    Thank you in advance for your participation.

    (Entries by clients under the age of 18 will need written parental/guardian permission prior to being used).

  • We have our New Logo hats in with the brand new American Flag themed Finish First logo, along with our new camp to come. Email us if you would like some pics or would like to order one (or more!).

Motivational Quote

"Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later."
-- Og Mandino

Thank You for Your Support

Thanks again for subscribing to this free e-newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I look forward to your feedback as I continue to research to bring you the most current scientific training information available.

Should you have any specific article requests or questions, email me at Please visit for detailed sports performance training information and programs offered exclusively by Finish First Sports Performance.

Yours In Training,

Coach Jeremy S. Hoy, MS, CSCS, PES, USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc. Certified,
Elite Performance Scientist

Finish First Sports Performance

For Finish First Insider backissues #1 - 29, click here

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