Does football have a sleeping pills problem?

Does football have a sleeping pills problem?

An article by Tom Morgan in the Telegraph on 28 September 2022 highlighted the struggle of Ryan Cresswell, former Sheffield United defender and now Sheffield FC manager, who described the use and overuse of sleeping tablets by football players in the UK.

He noted the rise of so-called “Z-drugs” which were handed to players wanting to sleep after adrenaline-fuelled matches. Players were not willing to try natural solutions to calm down following intense games, and frequent international travel also contributed to jet lag-related sleep issues.

Dr Michael Bennett, the player union’s director of wellbeing, noted that “even in small doses, prescription medications can be habit forming”.

Top tips for getting to sleep after an adrenaline-fuelled afternoon or evening:

  1. Hydrate, and include electrolytes, to help your body repair. Dehydration and vitamin deficiencies are big contributors to poor sleep. Potassium and magnesium are also helpful to avoid cramping when your body relaxes.
  2. Skip alcohol and sugary drinks. Both contribute to poor sleep, and are to be avoided right before bed
  3. Turn your phone off 30 minutes before bed and stay quiet – your body needs quiet and low (non blue) light levels to start preparing for sleep
  4. Switch pills for natural solutions to sleep, like Sleep Food
  5. Try deep breathing (or Non Sleep Deep Breath) exercises to calm the nervous system – most effective in the hour before bed

Learn more about how Sleep Food can help you get to sleep faster.

Learn More About Sleep Food
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