5 Sleep Tips for Dancers, Athletes & All of Us to Get a Better Night's Rest

Kristyn Burtt
Photo credit: Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

If there's anything that 2020 taught us is that sleep is important — it's not only crucial for our physical health, but also our mental health. As we move in 2021, focusing on the things that make us feel better will only help us perform better on the stage and on a day-to-day basis.

That's why dancers need to make sure they are looking at their sleep schedule and the type of mattress and sheets they are sleeping on — even the littlest details matter to getting a sound sleep. The idea of staying up all night and running to class or an audition the next day is asking for an injury to occur. The idea of wellness shouldn't just be about exercise and whole foods, a good night's rest regularly needs to be a part of the schedule.

Here are some tips to make sleep a priority in 2021 as a dancer, athlete, or someone just looking for better rest.

1. Schedule: Stick to a schedule that will regularly work for you. Going to bed and waking up at the same time helps with energy levels throughout the day. Aim for seven or eight hours of sleep a night– no more, no less.

2. Food: Make sure you aren't going to bed too full or too hungry because both disrupt your REM sleep cycle. Be sure to avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol close to your bedtime because they can also affect your quality of sleep.

3. Peaceful environment: This is a big one for most people and they don't even realize how important a peaceful environment is. Besides making sure you are sleeping in a cool and dark environment, try to invest in a quality memory foam mattress, which evenly distributes your body weight helping to reduce pressure on specific body points. After a long day of dance class, this will help with those aches and pains and keep the blood circulating at night.

With a good mattress comes sheets that will make a huge difference in your sleep quality. We just test drove GhostBed Luxury Sheets set by GhostBed by Nature's Sleep for amping up our sleep wellness for 2021. The Supima cotton and Tencel fiber blend created a cool and luxurious sleeping environment. Even after washing several times, they've become softer and even more comfortable to use. With free shipping and an industry-leading three-year warranty, this sheet set will work great on almost any mattress, but it's ideal to pair it with any GhostBed mattress. (And for those of you frustrated by sheets that constantly pop off, GhostBed Luxury Sheets save the day with their GhostGrip, so your fitted sheet will stay on securely.)

4. Electronics: It goes without saying that our electronics are keeping us up at night, so it's time to turn them off at least an hour before bedtime. It's a hard habit to break, but our laptops, gaming consoles and smartphones aren't helping us sleep any better. It's OK to pick up an old-fashioned hard copy of a book to read before bedtime — we promise it will make you well-read and sleepy.

5. Manage stress: This can be easier said than done during stressful times, but find out what helps ease any anxiety you might be going through. Meditation, deep breathing and soft music can often take away the stress of the day. Find something to soothe your soul so that your night of rest brings you peace.

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Kristyn Burtt is a commercial dance journalist, TV host and producer. She was the West Coast correspondent and host of "To the Pointe" on Dance Network for five years. Her coverage of "So You Think You Can Dance," "Dancing With the Stars" and "World of Dance" is popular with dance fans across the globe. Kristyn's love of dance began early in her life. She trained at the Boston Ballet School, danced with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in "The Nutcracker" and won a dance scholarship to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She currently serves on the American Dance Movement’s Marketing & PR Committee and is a member of the Television Academy and SAG-AFTRA.

Los Angeles, CA

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