Regular indoor football, sport and other activity for working adults in Singapore

Rest, Sleep & Food: 20 September 2009

Posted by rajiv on 20 September 2009

As we now have a session every day of the week other than Friday, the opportunities to play are great. The current record of sessions/games played by any one person is 5 in 4 days.

Further, some of you also play with other groups, or play other sport.

A reminder not to over-extend yourself, thereby increasing the risk of injury.  Remember to get sufficient rest between each session/game.

The older we get, the more we need to rest between sessions/games.  I am currently avoiding playing more than twice a week, and never two days in a row.

One concern I had in moving from an 8 to 9 pm slot to a 9 to 10 pm slot was whether having later sessions would affect sleep.  The main reason for the shift to a later hour, which dates back to April 2008, was that the 8 to 9 pm slot was becoming increasingly difficult to get.

We have now settled into having our weeknight sessions from 9 to 10 pm.   Kevin has for some time been keen on a 10 to 11 pm gameA couple of others have also indicated an interest.

We had our first 10 to 11 pm game on Wednesday.   I slept well after the game despite the later finish.  Kevin found it a lot better than the previous week, when he played from 10 pm to midnight.

After a previous search on Google, I figure it boils down to a matter of individual constitution and personal choice.  An article from the New York Times in 2006:

As a general rule, most fitness and sleep experts recommend avoiding intense physical activity in the immediate hours before bedtime, arguing that it takes at least three hours for adrenaline and other hormones that typically surge during a workout to return to normal levels.

But most studies have not found that to be the case. One study published in the journal Physiology and Behavior in 1998, for example, had a group of college students exercise moderately for about an hour on two separate nights, in one case 90 minutes before bedtime and in the other 30 minutes before bedtime.


One researcher who has published widely on the subject, Dr. Shawn D. Youngstedt at the University of South Carolina, says he believes that exercise before bed can actually promote sleep, easing anxiety and raising body temperature. But the effects vary from person to person, he said.

Further, while the risk of late-coming is lesser for a 9 to 10 pm session as compared to a 8 to 9 pm session, it would be further reduced for a 10 to 11 pm session.

Another issue that arises from time to time are participants who find that having dinner before playing adversely affects their game.  From experience, and from talking to other participants, I figure that the aim should be to have dinner at least 2 hours before the session, and to keep it light.  I found support for this here:

Eat large meals at least three to four hours before exercising. You can eat small meals two to three hours before exercising.

However, it’s also not advisable to exercise on an empty stomach.

On the flip side, not eating before you exercise can be just as bad. Low blood sugar levels that result from not eating can make you feel weak, faint or tired, and your mental abilities may be affected as well, making you slower to react.

If you can’t get round to having something to eat before 7.30 pm, consider a 10 to 11 pm session.

Good nutrition complements regular exercise.  Not only is it useful to incorporate weight training in our exercise routine as we get older, a suitable diet can do much to enhance the benefits.  Proper nutrition also aids in recovery from injury.

Two common reasons for late withdrawals from our sessions are flu and joint injuries.  I find a good multi-vitamin helps to reduce the incidence of flu.  While some doctors are skeptical of its efficacy, glucosamine is thought to help preserve cartilage, especially as we get older.  It has been strongly recommended to me by a physiotherapist and by others.


2 Responses to “Rest, Sleep & Food: 20 September 2009”

  1. Ian said

    Jiv, appreciate the write up. I picked up a knee injury recently – not sure if it was a result of something i did during last week’s game last week or just an overuse injury… and as for me, I know 2 games in the space of 3 days is too much for me. Not everyone is a Sushil and even he is now injured!

    • rajiv said

      You’re welcome Ian.

      I looked it up (we can because we keep records!) and it was three weeks ago that you played Tuesday and Thursday. Last week, you played Saturday and Tuesday.

      Take care.

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