Sleep and Cycling – Guide to Sleeping Well Before Your Race


I believe nobody questions anymore the vital role sleep plays in our lives, not just for the physical regeneration, but for our mental revival as well. Still, it’s salutary to know that when you’re a cyclist – professional or amateur – sleep has even a more foremost significance than it does for a non-athletic person. Poor sleeping affects the reconstruction our body and mind need, and that will impact our performance in racing the next day.

A sleep-related stereotype is that we should have at least 7 – 8 hours of rest per night. But our bodies are incredibly different! Some people go by with even five hours of sleep, while others need maybe nine. The point is you don’t need to listen to clichés, but to your body – it will tell you how much rest it requires. And if falling asleep seems complicated, let me offer a few tips and tricks which will help you get the perfect night slumber you need for optimal performance.

Set a sleeping schedule and relax before going to bed

Experts agree that going to bed at approximately the same hour in the evening and waking up at the same time every morning will help your body develop a useful routine, which will take the edge off and let you go to sleep naturally the night before a race. Also, if you do something relaxing ahead bedtime, it will unwind your mind and prepare it for a peaceful rest. You could enjoy a good book, listen to music, do some handcrafting, take a relaxing bath or get a massage.

Exercise during the day

Heavy work-out in the evening is not recommended, but light exercising can be helpful because it will decrease the level of exciting hormones in your body (such as adrenaline) and thus set up a serene state of mind. Make sure you’re done with exercising in time for getting a light evening meal and enjoy the pleasant activity meant to help you unwind.

Eat light and avoid stimulators

Going to bed hungry is not a good idea, but neither is eating too much and too heavy before sleeping. Take into account that the food you eat will impact the quality of your sleep. One vital aspect is to avoid any stimulators – coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, energizing drinks, etc. Enjoy a light dinner, at least three hours before going to bed.

Create a soothing environment

A dark room, with the proper temperature, no noise, and a comfortable mattress in your bed – these are the indispensable ingredients for a perfect sleeping set. Using an inappropriate bedding will severely damage your rest. That’s why you need the right product to help your body rest in the proper position so that you won’t wake up with back or neck pain, arm or leg numbness or a dizziness sensation. Find the one that agrees with you best by following reviews on; you’ll see that most experts consider foam and gel-infused mattresses with a medium level of firmness as recommendable for sportspeople.

Avoid all electronic devices and practice relaxation techniques instead

The blue light all electronic devices cast when being on is, in fact, harmful to that good night rest you’re hoping to get. As bedtime approaches, it’s best to turn them off – let go of the smartphone social media conversations or that last episode of your favorite series. Try some meditation instead or some simple relaxation techniques. They are very compelling tools for convincing the brain it’s time to unwind and go to sleep. Also, don’t think about the next day race, its difficulties or challenges. Clear your mind of stressful thoughts and picture something that makes you smile.

Enjoy Your Ride
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    December 2023
    M T W T F S S


Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

Sports Drink Homebrew

Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to

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