The Sleep Conundrum
During a particularly heavy rehearsal season, sleep is more crucial than ever so your body can recover. But unfortunately, the harder you dance, the harder it might be to sleep: A small study in the Journal of Sports Sciences found that nine days of intense training caused a “significant and progressive decline in sleep quality” among 13 cyclists. Although the athletes were in bed for longer, they spent less time actually sleeping. Unsurprisingly, their mood and athletic performance declined along with the lost sleep. Interestingly, researchers found that a high-carb diet seemed to mitigate these effects somewhat. But the best line of defense is setting aside ample time for sleep (including naps!) when you’re exercising especially hard, since you may be waking up more often during the night.