Balancing school studies, after school dance training, and concert rehearsals (phew!) so we've decided to talk about the importance of sleep for dancers.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention the recommended amount of sleep for teens 13-18 years old is 8-10 hours.
Sleep increases the secretion of growth hormone, which is necessary for dancers to grow and get stronger. Memory consolidation and motor-sequencing occurs during sleep, which is necessary for dancers when learning new choreography. Therefore long-term to even short-lived disturbances in sleep can cause a dancer to perform worse mentally and physically.
Before bed snack idea: Banana-peanut bagel
This super-simple bedtime snack made with tryptophan-rich bananas is a quick, easy and effective way to combat hunger pangs, and won't keep you up all night.
Peanut butter contains the mineral magnesium, which can help relax muscles and work as a mild relaxant to the central nervous system.
1 ripe banana
Half a wholemeal bagel (recipe below)
1 tbsp natural crunchy peanut butter
Peel the banana and mash it well into a bowl. Toast the bagel.
Spread the peanut butter on top of the bagel and top with the mashed banana.
1 sachet instant yeast
2 tbsp molasses
1 tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 egg to brush on bagels, beaten
1/2 cup cornmeal (optional)
1 pot of boiling water
2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp granulated sugar
In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine yeast with warm water. Let the yeast proof for 5 minutes until it dissolves and is foamy. Add in flour, molasses & salt and begin mixing with the dough hook. Knead the dough for 5 minutes in the stand mixer or if you are doing it by hand, knead the dough for 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface.Once the dough has been kneaded, place it in a large mixing bowl which has been greased with butter (or allow to rise in a warm place for 1.5 hours or until the dough has doubled in size).
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release the air and drop it out onto a lightly floured surface. Depending on what size you want your bagels, cut the dough into equal portions…8 equal portions = 8 large bagels10 equal portions = 10 medium bagels12-14 equal portions = 12-14 mini bagels.
Once you have cut your dough, collect the edges of each individual piece of dough and shape into balls. Once you have shaped all your dough into balls, use your thumb to punch a hole through the center of each ball. Use your fingers to gently stretch the whole to your desired size. Set aside on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
Once you have finished punching the holes in your bagel dough, allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes in a warm place. The dough will rise up even more during this time.Bring a pot of water to a boil, add in baking soda & sugar.
Depending on your bagel size & the size of your pot, place 3-4 bagels into the boiling water at a time. Boil for 90 seconds on one side, flip the bagel and boil for another 90 seconds on the other side. Remove from boiling water with a strainer.
Place the bagels onto prepared baking sheet, with cornmeal sprinkled on top of the parchment. Brush the bagels with the egg wash and sprinkle with your desired toppings or just leave them plain. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. If you want to freeze your bagels, allow them to cool completely and place them in a sealed plastic bag.
4 tips for getting a good night's sleep: - Make sure you are in cool, dark environment
Eliminate screen time before bed
Aim to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day
If you get home late from the studio, don't ignore your hunger pangs and go to bed without eating