Healthy Hollywood: Wellness Wednesday – Olympic Champ Dara Torres' Secret To Winning!

Dara Torres attends Orbita US 2009 at The New Museum on October 13, 2009 in New York City Dara Torres attends Orbita US 2009 at The New Museum on October 13, 2009 in New York City

At 43, Dara Torres is still in top-notch condition. The 12-time Olympic medalist’s body is in amazing shape and she even plans to compete in the London Olympics 2012.

To maintain her rock-hard physique and competitive edge, Torres reveals to Healthy Hollywood she trains about 5-6 hours a day both in the pool and out.

“I can train less but be more focused now, so I recover faster and I am ready for the next day’s workout! Recovery is as much as part of my daily routine as how I exercise and what I eat, and that’s where a good night’s sleep comes in,” she said.

Yup, a good night’s sleep is Dara’s simple secret to a winning mind and body. “If I don’t get a good night’s sleep, I am beyond just being tired. I am less attentive to my daughter, Tessa, I am less creative, and ultimately I am not living up to my own expectations to be the best person I can be because I have not renewed myself for the next day,” reveals the mother of one.

Yet, an estimated 40 million people suffer from chronic sleep disorders in the U.S. and a further 20 million have frequent problems sleeping. That’s a whole lot of sleep-deprived folks out there! A poor night’s sleep will not only make you groggy, it can also affect your looks. Puffy, bloodshot eyes, dark under-eye-circles, weight gain, and washed-out complexion are all side effects of poor zzz’s. Nap, please!

Dara’s secret to a solid snooze is The Rejuvenation Pillow from Sleep Innovations. “The Rejuvenation Pillow has what it calls the Ideal Angle so it positions my head and neck in comfortable alignment, relieves the pressure on my back and chest, and opens my airways so I’m breathing properly.”

A good pillow is one trick, yet the rest experts from Sleep Innovations also share their top ten tips for a better night’s sleep.

1. Good Bed, Good Sleep: Your bed should be wide enough and long enough to give you the room you need, and it should always be comfortable.

2. Stick To The Schedule: Try to go to bed and get up around the same time every day, even on weekends.

3. Can’t Sleep? Stop Trying: If you just can’t go to sleep, try getting up and doing something calming and relaxing for a few minutes.

4. Keep It Cool, Dark & Quiet: Light tells the body to wake up, and a noisy or overly hot bedroom can make it hard to relax.

5. Snack Smarter: Eating too late can affect sleep. If you find yourself craving a snack before bedtime, try to make it a light, healthy one.

6. Create A Nap-Free Zone: Too many naps, especially close to bedtime, can make it difficult to sleep.

7. Get Your Exercise: Exercise can make it easier to grab a good night’s sleep. But, don’t exercise within two hours of bedtime – that can make it harder for body to wind down.

8. Ban The Burn: Heartburn is a frequent cause of sleeplessness. If you know certain foods are likely to be troublesome, consider dropping them from your diet.

9. Cut Down On Smoking & Alcohol: If you smoke or drink, try not to indulge for at least two hours before bedtime.

10. Relax: Take a few moments to unwind and relax before bedtime. A nice hot bath is one idea.

For more tips and to check out sleep-related products, head to www.sleepinnovations.com.

Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.