Deep Sleep: What is it and how to get more of it.

February 8th, 2016 by Cheryl Sherwood

By,  Elizabeth Kayfish,  Athletic Mentors Coach

Deep sleep, also known as slow wave sleep, is the combination of stage 3 and 4 of your sleep cycle. During this time your body is calm and has no muscle or eye movements2.  This type of restorativdeep-sleepe, restful sleep
comes right
before your REM cycle, and getting a good dose of deep sleep is important because tissue repair is at its fastest during this time4. Many people who find themselves not feeling rested after the night have missed
out on the essential deep sleep. Although the hormones responsible for this type of sleep lessen as you get older, research studies have found a few alternatives to increase your time in this stage4.  Here are so tips so you can feel a little more refreshed in the morning!

  1. Stay away from the alcoholic beverages before bed to ensure you reach your full sleep potential. Alcohol, which often tends to make one fall asleep fast, prevents deep sleep from occurring2.
  2. Exercise is the cure all! Several studies have shown that exercising, both anaerobically and aerobically, can increase the amount of time you are in deep sleep. A good workout and an a
    ctive lifestyle can promote deep sleep length; just be sure not to exercise too close to bedtime4.
  3. Have some naturally scented lavender soaps, lotions, candles and/ or oils around before bed. Sensory therapy, like aromatherapy, has been shown to improve one’s night rest. A recent study showed increases in the percentage of deep sleep in a night after the use of lavender oils3.
  4. Keep the carbohydrates light at dinner and before bed. Studies have shown that compared to a carbohydrate heavy meal 4 hours before bed, a very light carbohydrate meal increased the percentage of time in deep sleep cycles1.
  5. Try to eliminate stressors throughout your day and before bed. You cannot control the age-related factor of decreasing deep sleep with age, but you can create a stress-free environment before you go to sleep to counter the effect. Try to have a regular pre-bedtime schedule and unwind with a bath, book, or soothing music5.




  1. Afaghi, A., O’Connor, H., and Chow, C.H. (2008). Acute effects of the very low carbohydrate diet on sleep indices. Nutr. Neurosci. 11: 146-154.
  2. Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2016, from
  3. Goel, N., Hyungsoo, K., and Lao, R.P. (2005). An olfactory stimulus modifies nighttime sleep in young men and women. Chronobiology International: The Journal of Biological and Medical Rhythm Research, 22, 5. DOI: 10.1080/07420520500263276
  4. Sleepdexorg. (2016). Sleepdexorg. Retrieved January 31, 2016, from
  5. The Mysterious Benefits of Deep Sleep. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2016, from




Athletic Mentors has moved to a new and permanent home!

January 19th, 2016 by Cheryl Sherwood

20160119_150141 (1)After month’s of long days and hard work, Athletic Mentors has finally moved to a new home.  We are grateful to our clients for tolerating the short comings of our past facility where we planted our feet for the past 4 years.    The new location will enable us to continue to do all that we do, even better.  We will continue to offer high performance training and coaching while also reaching out to all levels of ability to introduce more people to the joy of sport and healthy lifestyle

We’ll ask everyone to “pardon our dust” as we finish renovation of our new yoga room and classroom.  Phase 2 of our 20160119_171531 (1)the project will include construction of new locker rooms and showers.   In the meantime, our clients will enjoy that they no longer need gloves to touch the dumbbells in the winter months (current and past customers know what I mean).  Parents will find a very comfortable and warm lobby with internet access, should they choose to wait while their athletes train.

The new facility can be found at 8610 North 32nd Street in Richland (just around the corner from our old location).  We don’t have a sign yet so look for the Athletic Mentors flag. We are between Rogers Heating and Cooling and the Dentist office on the east side of 32nd Street.

Winter Swim Sessions for all abilities start January 3, 2015

December 28th, 2014 by Cheryl Sherwood

Winter is the time to strengthen your weakness and for most triathletes that means focus on the swim.  Don’t miss out on our winter swim classes starting next week! We have sessions for everyone, from the newest swimmswimer to the competitive Triathlete. If you can’t swim one length of the pool, we’ll get you there. If you can swim a good distance, but just want to get faster, we’ll improve your technique and your performance. For more information, check the links below. Classes start next week!

Beginner Swim Class

Intermediate / Advanced Swim Class

Congratulations to Athletic Mentors’ Newest Ironmen & Ironwoman!

September 2nd, 2014 by Cheryl Sherwood

Not only did they become Ironmen and Ironwoman this week, but they did it with some extraordinary results! Check out their accomplishiments: Congratulations Toni, Max and Alex! You make us proud!

Alex Miti

Alex Vanias: Finished his first full Iron at Michigan Titanium. His bike average for 112 miles was 27.5 mph!!!!! WOW!


Max Wittenburg: Max is not only an Ironman, but this was his first Triathlon ever!!! No baby steps for this guy! Amazing job Max


Toni Daniels: Not only finished her first Ironman in Louiseville, but she did it with a PR in her swim of 1:05! This is an amazing swim !


Last Call to Take Advantage of 15% Off for Our Fall Tri & Swim Clinics!

August 26th, 2014 by Cheryl Sherwood

SAVE 15% on Fall Clinics if registered by 8/26/14 at midnight, or until full.

VIDEO & STROKE ANALYSIS: November 2, 2014Diving
This half day clinic, will include high definition video to critique technique and then teach the most effective ways to correct your stroke. This is the best 3 hours you’ll ever spend to make a notable improvement in your stroke technique, efficiency and performance. Click here for more info and to register.
6 MONTH TRAINING PLAN CLINIC : November 15, 2014
This half day clinic designed for the half and full iron distance athlete will include field testing on the bike and run, and classroom instruction covering proper training. Athletes will leave with a 6 month custom training plan designed for their individual skill level, ability and the goal race of their choice. Click here for more info and to register.

Only 10 participants per class.

Who is Team OAM NOW Racing? Check us out at !

May 12th, 2014 by Cheryl Sherwood

Earlier this year we announced a new game in town with Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan taking the title for our our nearly decade-old Multi-Sport Program in our blog: “Michigan’s Premier Elite Multi-Sport Teams win OAM NOW Title -2014-01-17-at-11.20.26-AM-300x99Sponsorship”. With OAM’s commitment to promote healthy lifestyle and to help develop tomorrow’s new talent, we look forward to the great things to come from this program. Check out who will be racing in the team’s inaugural season at You’ll also find a comprehensive events calendar that offers a one-stop resource to what events are happening each week in every endurance discipline and we’ll highlight our favorites. Check back often as our elite athletes and coaches offer training and racing tips and techniques in our team blog.

Triathlete Spring Swim Class – Registration is Now OPEN!

April 1st, 2014 by Cheryl Sherwood

With winter slow to end, the open water swimming is sure to be extra cold! Join us for this clinic to prepare for the open water and your first race. We’ll do some high intensity workouts to get ready for those high anxiety race starts and pull lane markers to mimic the open water experience with swim buoys and group starts. If you would like to feel ready to race when the season starts, this 4 week class will give you the confidence you are looking for in your race-ready fitness. Register Now as capacity is limited. Class starts April 18th.

Click here for details and to register.


Fall Swim Video and Stroke Analysis Registration is Open!

August 29th, 2013 by Cheryl Sherwood

The fusion of video analysis and years of coaching experience is a powerful tool that will improve your experience in both the pool and open water. Resolve to take your stroke to the next level with this highly effective clinic! Space is limited to 10 athletes. Click here for more information.

AM / TPH Graduates Sweep the US Pro TT Championships!

May 29th, 2013 by Cheryl Sherwood

May 25th was the US Pro Men’s Time Trial Championship and 5 of the top 10 riders spent time in a PH jersey to get there! Read the rest of this entry »

FREE Cycling Clinic: Prep for the Gran Fondo!

May 6th, 2013 by Cheryl Sherwood

Do you know someone that has been considering getting a little more involved in cycling? Tomorrow night (May 5th) we are offering a free clinic to prep for the Gran Fondo. There are 12 mile, 40 mile and 80 mile options. At this clinic, we’ll cover everything you need to know from equipment, to nutrition, to how to be fit and ready. We’ll give away a free training plan and raffle off a free registration. Click here for more info!