Top Tips For Sleeping Your Way to Improved Performance and Health
Although sleep wasn’t mentioned in CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman’s elegant 100 Words of FItness, the CrossFit community has since embraced the importance of sleep, not just for optimizing performance, but for overall health.
Sleep technology company Eight Sleep recognized this and is now deeply entrenched in the CrossFit community, with all the cool kids—like CrossFit Games athletes Justin Medeiros, Kristi Eramo, and Baylee Rayl— choosing Eight Sleep as their sleep solution.
Eight Sleep co-founder Matteo Franceschetti, a former “stressed out” lawyer turned entrepreneur who started the company because he wanted to “fuel human potential through sleep” explained that what makes their technology unique is its “ability to personalize the temperature of your bed on both sides from 55 F to 110 F.”
Further, their Pod Pro tracks all key health and sleep metrics, from heart rate and heart rate variability, to the various stages of sleep you go through during the night, thus providing a sleep score every morning “so you can improve your sleeping habits over time,” he said.
Why this Matters for the CrossFit Athlete
As we know, sleep is crucial for recovery for everyone, but athletes tend to be hotter at night, Franceschetti explained, “so being able to cool down during sleep ensures that they can sleep throughout the night with no wake-ups due to heat,” he said.
For 2021 Games rookie Baylee Rayl, who started using Eight Sleep last October, the Pod Pro has made a world of difference.
“I have noticed not only a difference in my sleep quality but also my energy throughout the day. I don’t wake up groggy or tired anymore because I get quality sleep throughout the night. I don’t wake up to toss and turn as much, and because I’m sleeping deeper, my recovery has gone up,” said Rayl, who said she’s normally in bed by 9 p.m. and wakes up between 7:30 and 8 a.m.
She added: “For CrossFit athletes specifically, we put a lot of wear and tear on our bodies during training, so sleep is important for recovery purposes. Each day we want to bring the intensity and intention, but to do so we must be recovered. Recovery is just as important as training.”
Eramo, who started sleeping on an Eight Sleep Pod Pro last September, has also noticed the technology has helped improve how deeply she sleeps and how recovered she feels.
“I notice when I’m training hard I tend to get hotter at night, (and used to) wake up sweaty…and since using Eight Sleep this has no longer been an issue for me,” she said.
Eramo added: “I know sometimes my husband is cold and I am hot, so having the Eight Sleep helps solve this because we can each set our temperatures to where we like them.”
Three Sleep Tips You Probably Haven’t Thought Of
Franceschetti recommends “thermal shock” two hours before bedtime. His method of choice is spending time in a sauna and then immediately going into an ice bath.
“Or I’ll take a hot bath followed by a cold shower,” he said, as it not only helps improve sleep, but also reduces inflammation, improves blood flow, and aids in muscle recovery, he explained.
“Going from a 145 F environment to 40 F helps stimulate blood flow and puts my natural bodily responses to work, preparing me for restful sleep,” he added.
Don’t spend time under a punishing light before bed, Franceschetti explained, as “bright, harsh lighting can delay your body’s natural production of melatonin and your sleep onset time.
He uses Philips Hue lights, which have features that allow the lights to adjust themselves, so at 7 p.m. his lights switch to an orange light and gradually start to dim until 9:30 p.m. at which point they shut off completely.
“Setting my lights on a schedule helps me unwind at the end of the day and prepare for sleep at least two-and-a-half hours in advance of bedtime,” he said.
Franceschetti recommends setting your bedroom temperature to the optimal level—he sets his to 73 F—and also using the Sleep Eight Pod Pro to set the correct bed temperature depending on the season, weather, and training you did that day.
“The Pod’s thermoregulation gets me to a comfortable temperature as soon as I get in bed, which has shortened my sleep onset. Not only does the Pod help me fall asleep faster, but it also ensures that I stay asleep during the night because I don’t wake up too hot or cold, which was previously an issue for me,” he said.
Ready to join the cool kids and get your best night’s sleep? Save up to $250 this President’s Day at Eight Sleep.