Falling Asleep Issues
The night before your big match, tournament, or fight one of the hardest things is falling asleep due to your nerves. Add in the fact that you’re hungry and even worse… thirsty, it’s almost impossible. I’ve been a victim of these nights many times throughout my career and unfortunately it negatively affected my performance. Champions can fight through fatigue but why put another obstacle in your way that you can easily avoid.
Falling Asleep Fixes
I wish I knew during my competition days, what I do now about falling asleep. I touched on this topic very briefly in Wrestling with Your Destiny. About three years ago I read a book by Viktor Frankl called Man’s Search For Meaning. In it he describes methods which aid in falling asleep. The one that I use the most when I have trouble falling asleep is trying to stay awake. That may sound weird but it’s true. By trying to stay awake it wears your body out enough and you fall asleep. The way I do it which helps me fall asleep within minutes is I keep my eyes open as long as I can until I feel like I can’t keep them open anymore or I have to blink. Then right away I do it again, and then again, and then again. Eventually my eyelids are so heavy that I don’t have the energy to open them again and I fall asleep shortly after.
Another thing I learned from Frankl is to only lay in your bed when you are ready to go to sleep. That means don’t read, watch TV, etc… so you train your body to sleep as soon as possible once you lay down. I modified this method and only read or watch TV in bed on two pillows and when I shut the lights off I lay on only one. That little change has helped me a lot.
Other tips I have for falling asleep when you can’t drink because of your weight is having a small cup of ice next to your bed. It quenches your thirst without adding too much weight. With ice you can control your intake before you put it in your mouth. It protects against accidental self-control slip-ups.
These things might not work for you and you might not be able to fall asleep when you try them. If that’s the case you should experiment with other methods and read books that can help you. Vitkor Frankl also recommended getting out of bed after twenty minutes if you can’t sleep.