Bedding for athletes ... Sleep on it!

Bedding for athletes ... Sleep on it!

It has always surprised me that athletes of all stature wear the most technically sophisticated clothing and equipment on the planet, and at the end of the day sleep on bed linens just like their mothers and grandmothers used. However with new therapeutic bedding, as the famous sports quote goes, "Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional”.

There is no question that participation in sports carries tremendous physiological challenges – obviously experienced during the waking hours. Why not make good use of those 6 to 8 hours at night, while asleep in bed, to enhance rest and recovery?

Rapid recuperation from vigorous activities is critical in maintaining an athlete’s peak performance. Athletes also suffer higher incidences of skin problems as a result of their respective sports. Think about it. Sports participants need bedding which can handle excess perspiration that accompanies heightened metabolism, as well as provide a clean support surface where abraded skin can heal.

As is often seen in hockey and football, acne is caused by non-porous equipment next to the skin, where the wearer is hot and sweaty. Skin irritations increase the risk of infections that come from any type of contact sport, such as basketball, football or wrestling. Atopic dermatitis is a condition aggravated by athletic activity, whether it’s a dry or wet sport. This is a particular concern for those in winter sports and for swimmers, where chlorine dries out the skin. Dry skin is not a good barrier to fluids or to infections. For example, athletes with atopic dermatitis, where dry skin causes fissures and cracks, are susceptible to ringworm and other skin infections. Dermatitis can result from any contact sport.

The combination of sweat and heat makes the body a perfect medium for fungal growth. Sports most commonly affected are running, bicycling, swimming and tennis. Fungal infections of the feet, called tinea pedis, are found among athletes who spend a lot of time sweating in shoes. Intertrigo is a yeast infection that results from irritation of the groin often caused by bicycling. Athletes who come in close contact with other athletes may also spread funguses like tinea corporis gladitorum. Sounds a bit gruesome, don’t you think? It’s enough to put you off your game.

But, what can you do? Dermatologists recommend that athletes regularly clean their clothing to minimize skin outbreaks. They also tell you to wash and dry your practice clothing on a daily basis. However, dermatologists usually offer no guidance about the bedding you should use – even though athletes spend 6 to 8 hours in direct contact with their bed sheets each night. Therapeutic bedding can improve sleep, rest and recovery of the body, reduce atopic dermatitis and eczema, and provide a cleaner sleep surface.

The pain of sports is inevitable … however, the suffering is indeed optional.



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