Life is full of ironies. In the midst of the global pandemic, many of us may somehow be finding ourselves even busier than we were before. We may be occupied with our careers, our families, various projects, our practice, and more.
The added realities of keeping healthy also require our attention. The precautions we all need to take in the face of COVID take up extra time out of our daily lives.
But pandemic or no, it’s always important to get plenty of rest, particularly if you are an aerialist or aerial yogi. There are several surprising benefits of sleep that will fuel and transform your practice!
Photo by @duchessbecca
Want to superpower your memory and remember longer and more complex moves and routines? Sleep is key! During sleep, your mind strengthens memories and "practices" skills you learned when you were awake.
Sleep is an important opportunity for the body to perform a little restorative magic and renew itself. Sleep also helps athletes to recover in between training sessions and ups the game for the next one. It reduces inflammation. Inflammation is linked to heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and premature aging. Research shows that people who get less than 6 hours of sleep per night have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more. Athletes should aim for about 9-10 hours of nightly sleep depending on their activity level and where they are in the season.
What about creativity? Sleep helps you reorganize and restructure your memories. After a good night's sleep, you may find your moves just flow better and you may even discover a new transition you hadn't thought of before!
Restful downtime is also important to overall wellness. And while solid sleep is the most healing, chill time is also critical. So, you can stop feeling guilty about Netflix binge sessions - that time also helps you recover!
Photo by @thesilkspectre
If you are laying low, you may be discovering a million ways to keep busy at home (and the introverts out there know this especially well). Many aerial and yoga practitioners may have made a renewed commitment to their movement practice lately. Some may be finding extra ways to carve out time and space for the work and to take it to the next level.
It’s up to each of us to check in and see if we are feeling well-rested or a little run down. Lack of sleep can also decrease focus and even weaken the immune system, something none of us want to encourage, especially now! Take a break, wind down, and get your ZZZ’s to be your best self - and your very best aerialist.
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