1. Make sleep a priority – commit to getting enough sleep, this could mean doing your homework during the day or setting your DVR to record your favorite shows and watching them on the weekend, etc.
2. Dim the lights at night – when you’re in bright lights your body still thinks it’s daytime. Try dimming the lights in your house and you will start feeling tired earlier.
3. Dim the screens – turn down the brightness on your laptop, and download the free program flux, which slightly changes the color on your laptop at night to make it easier on your eyes.
4. Turn off the screens – staring into TV and computer screens makes your body think it’s daytime (though installing ‘flux’ does help). Try having a TV/laptop turn-off time of 9 pm, and spend the rest of the night reading (with just a desk lamp), doing homework, or listening to music.
5. Sleep in a completely dark room – even dim lights from the street, TV, or cell phones can affect the quality of your sleep, so do your best to make it as dark as possible.How much sleep do you need? It certainly is different for everyone, but there are a few easy guidelines to follow. You should be able to wake up naturally (without an alarm). I talk to so many people who think they’re getting enough sleep, but then laugh when I ask if they’re able to wake up without an alarm (or multiple alarms). During periods of athletic training your needs will increase, so for teenage athletes this could mean at least 9-10 hours per night. Naps are also a good thing if you can find the time. Remember there is a difference between athletes and football players (or soccer/ tennis/ hockey players), and that is, athletes do what’s necessary to prepare to win their sport. This involves doing things besides just playing your sport. Things like working out, eating right, and sleeping enough all contribute to a successful season. Jeff is finishing his MS in Nutritional Science at CSU Los Angeles, and plans to become a Registered Dietitian (R.D.). He has co-authored multiple papers for peer-reviewed nutrition journals, and combines his experience as a strength coach with knowledge of nutrition to coach college tennis. 1. Calamaro CJ, Mason TB, Ratcliffe SJ. Adolescents living the 24/7 lifestyle: effects of caffeine and technology on sleep duration and daytime functioning. Pediatrics. 2009;123(6):e1005-1010.2. Mitchell JA, Rodriguez D, Schmitz KH, Audrain-McGovern J. Sleep duration and adolescent obesity. Pediatrics. 2013;131(5):e1428-1434.3. Federer. Sleep quote. http://ruansfedererblog.com/awesome-federer-interview/.4. Phelps. Sleep quote. http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2008/aug/14/michaelphelps.swimming1.5. Nash. Sleep quote. http://archive.mensjournal.com/steve-nash-on-sleeping-easier.6. Milewski M, Pace, J., Ibrahim, B.A., Bishop, G., Barzdukas, A., Skaggs, D. Lack of Sleep is Associated with Increased Risk of Injury in Adolescent Athletes. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition. 2012.7. Mah CD, Mah KE, Kezirian EJ, Dement WC. The effects of sleep extension on the athletic performance of collegiate basketball players. Sleep. 2011;34(7):943-950.8. Mah CD, Mah, K.E., Dement, W.C. Athletic performance improvements and sleep extension in collegiate tennis players. Sleep. 2009;32:A155.9. Reyner LA, Horne JA. Sleep restriction and serving accuracy in performance tennis players, and effects of caffeine. Physiol Behav. 2013;120:93-96.10. USOC sleep recommendations. http://espn.go.com/espn/commentary/story/_/id/7765998/for-athletes-sleep-new-magic-pill.11. Ryan Hall sleep quote. http://www.onemedical.com/blog/newsworthy/sleep-lessons-olympians/.12. Van Dongen HP, Maislin G, Mullington JM, Dinges DF. The cumulative cost of additional wakefulness: dose-response effects on neurobehavioral functions and sleep physiology from chronic sleep restriction and total sleep deprivation. Sleep. 2003;26(2):117-126.13. Spiegel K, Leproult R, L’Hermite-Baleriaux M, Copinschi G, Penev PD, Van Cauter E. Leptin levels are dependent on sleep duration: relationships with sympathovagal balance, carbohydrate regulation, cortisol, and thyrotropin. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004;89(11):5762-5771.14. Leproult R, Van Cauter E. Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association. 2011;305(21):2173-2174.