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Sleep Environment may Enhance Peak Sport Performance

by Gabi Steindl(more info)

listed in sleep and insomnia, originally published in issue 234 - November 2016

I have been a sports-junkie for as long as I can remember. Born and growing up in Austria, I started skiing at the age of 3 and a half. A few years later I got completely hooked on horse-back riding, which eventually lead me to becoming National Junior Champion twice. In my twenties I qualified as YMCA aerobics instructor; as well I passed certifications in scuba diving and surfing. I am a keen mountain biker, hiker, yogini, swimmer… - to summarize: I am and have always been absolutely in love with physical exercise. Sport has always played an incredibly important role in my life as feeling fit and in tune with my body is one of the keys to happiness for me. Thus, it didn’t come as a surprise that I became a professional kite surfer 15 years ago. 

Gabi Steindl Action Shots

Gabi Steindl values peak performance in sport and health.
Photos (left to right) by Gill Chabaud, Corey Jones and Matthew Tildesley


Being admittedly a total sports-junkie, I am also a total health-junkie: growing my own veggies, eating only freshly caught seafood (thanks to my husband who is an amazing fisherman), baking my own sourdough gluten free bread, I stick to fresh and natural produce and hardly ever eat anything processed or with a bar code on it. Refraining from wheat, sugar and dairy, I have learned to listen to my body and going with what gives me energy instead of what saps my energy. Everybody is different and the key to the right nutrition is: learning to feel your body’s reaction to certain foods and to amend eating habits accordingly. Clean-living is more than strictly diet-based for me; it’s a choice of lifestyle. Living a deliciously healthy life from the inside as well as the outside - my body and my home - encompasses many factors, more of that a little later.

I truly live for my sport and for spending time in the ocean: surfing, kitesurfing, diving, SUPing [Stand up paddle surfing] - anything in the ‘big blue’ really. What I’ve come to realize in over three decades of being very active and especially in my career as professional water-woman is that staying fit as well as achieving top performance levels does not only come down to the right training and nutrition. There is yet another factor coming into play, one that often is overlooked: Sleep - which plays an absolutely vital role in athletic performance as well as in achieving overall health & well-being.

Sleep - Essential For Life - A Legal Performance Enhancing Strategy

Sleep is extremely important for numerous biological functions no matter your athletic level and ambitions. Getting enough of it is one fundamental rule of recovery as you allow the body to repair itself. No matter whether it’s after a hard workout or a lengthier recovery from an injury, HGH (Human Growth Hormone) that is being produced in certain stages of our sleep is indispensable for muscle development and repair. Furthermore, busy neurons in the brain rest whilst we’re sleeping and form new pathways, for you to wake up spirited, full of energy and ready to face a brand-new day.

But the scope of the restorative powers of sleep are even much larger than that! Medical studies continue to show that getting adequate, quality sleep boosts your immune-system and minimizes the risk of a number of chronic medical conditions. On the other hand, sleep deprivation is associated with concentration issues, mood disturbances, memory problems and impaired mental performance. Furthermore, research has revealed that poor sleep on a regular basis over time can lead to serious health issues and is associated with cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, even cancer and metabolic syndrome disorders such diabetes and obesity - and thus may lead to a shortened life expectancy.

“Compromised sleep may also influence learning, memory, cognition, pain perception, immunity and inflammation. Furthermore, changes in glucose metabolism and neuroendocrine function as a result of chronic, partial sleep deprivation may result in alterations in carbohydrate metabolism, appetite, food intake and protein synthesis. These factors can ultimately have a negative influence on an athlete’s nutritional, metabolic and endocrine status and hence potentially reduce athletic performance.”   Halson SL, 2014

Geovital - Pioneers Of Environmental Medicine

But let’s get back to my personal experiences. Having just turned 40, decades of serious physical exercise have certainly taken their toll on my body. Having had great demands on myself physically all my life, competing actively in the Kite World Cup for many years and after 15 years in professional kiteboarding (and still going!), I certainly have been and still am causing my body constant beatings. I suffered several rather severe injuries and can’t deny that especially in recent years, I start feeling my body ache, tweak and pinch on a more and more regular basis. Especially my back and neck have started to play up on me, which is a bit scary but I guess, bodily changes like these come naturally with my lifestyle and are in a way ‘part of the game’. That’s why I’ve started to analyze how and in which aspects of my training, rest, and holistic approach to my health and overall well-being, I could go yet an ‘extra-additional’ mile.

That’s when I came across Geovital and what I found left me inspired and truly amazed.

I started to research thoroughly what exactly Geovital and the fascinating team behind the company do, their work, services, research, and products which improve the life and health of patients and clients in many sectors all around the world. All my findings resonated with me on so many levels and fit perfectly into my wholesome vision and holistic approach to clean-living - as mentioned earlier - from both, the inside and outside.

Through my research into Geovital I also learned so many new insights into detrimental environmental influences on our health, geopathic stress, the dangers of EMF [electric and magnetic fields] and so much more. I was truly shocked to find out that exposure standards set by governments around the world to put a limit on the population’s ever increasing electromagnetic radiation exposure, are constantly being found to be seriously inadequate and outdated. Exposures suffered at only fractions of the ‘allowable limits’ has shown time and time again to undermine our health and contribute to chronic and also life threatening illnesses, as well as fertility issues.

radiation at night

Most people are exposed to radiation all night long

Statistics Regarding EMF Exposure

Electromagnetic fields of 1000mG in strength are ‘acceptable’ for most governments, and that exposure to 4mG is linked to greater likelihood of childhood leukaemia, 1.6mG doubles the changes of sperm abnormalities and 1 to 2mG showed an increase in mortality rate of 370% in very ill children?  There are clear links of phone towers causing cancer, increasing risk of diabetes and so much more. Geovital has a sobering collection of research data on their website.

A key factor in health recovery is sleep and so the bedroom must be a place where you are free from the relentless harassment of these common stressors. Man-made radiation (EMF) as well as excesses of natural radiation (Geopathic Stress), plus the mattresses we sleep on, all have a major impact on our sleep. Getting your bedroom right, is what Geovital has been specializing in for over 30 years.

Private Physiotherapist For A Healthy Sleep

In particular, the health mattresses of Geovital quite frankly “blew me away”. I truly ‘worship’ my sleep and my husband always makes jokes about ‘how holy’ sleeping is for me. Well, it’s easy to say for him as he can sleep pretty much anywhere at any time under any kind of conditions. I’m the antithesis of that. I’m not an easy sleeper and thus place a lot of importance on everything related to my sleep. For me personally - and I will be perfectly open with you here - the repairing aspect of sleep on a physical level is absolutely essential for me; however, what’s even a greater reason for ensuring I get a quality, restful sleep is that I start to feel anxious when I’m deprived of sleep. Sleep is an infinite source of energy and strength for me, physically as well as emotionally.

Mattress Theravital Stretch Effect

Physiologa Mattress Theravital Stretch Effect

The Physiologa mattresses remove health burdens you have never considered. This patented innovation of Geovital has been designed in enormous efforts and decades of incredibly thorough testing & research, with the aim to help restore health. Please have a look at the official brochure to find out everything about this outstanding product, or view this video.

Perhaps it’s also time for you to evaluate the quality of your sleep and your home in general in order to improve your health & well-being.

In conclusion, I would like to give you some additional tips as to what you can do already now to instantly improve your sleep:

  1. Create an environment that you feel relaxed in and which will create quality sleep;
  2. Remove as much wiring from underneath and around your bed to reduce the exposure to electric and electromagnetic fields as much as possible. Please note(!): internal wiring is a MAJOR problem in most homes. GEOVITAL can also help with that and please don’t underestimate the effects of this problem on your health!;
  3. Remove transmitting devices from the bedroom or switch them on flight mode but regardless NEVER have them under or anywhere near your pillow;
  4. Avoid having transformers near your bed, from chargers, radio alarm clocks or some bed-lights;
  5. Maintain a regular and relaxing bed-time routine, i.e. switch off your computer, mobile phone etc. several hours before going to bed;
  6. Avoid watching anything ;stressful’ on TV (such as the news or high packed action movies);
  7. Refrain from caffeine and nicotine (are there still people smoking out there??); also skip the ‘night cap’ as it does in fact the opposite as it’s meant to (alcohol causes sleep disruptions);
  8. Assist yourself to sleeping like a baby by having a rather ‘light’ dinner;
  9. Also, do any training or physical exercise earlier in the day and leave a few hours of calming down before putting exhausted muscles to rest;
  10. And last but not least: meditation and/or some mellow breathing exercises before jumping into bed will give you the sweetest of dreams.

A bedroom with fewer stressors and a truly health supporting mattress maximizes opportunity for restorative sleep.

Acknowledgement Citation

Re-Published with permission from


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About Gabi Steindl

Gabi Steindl is a professional and world renowned athlete in the sport kitesurfing. Gabi aims to optimise health for peak performance in sport and life. Gabi is Austrian like GEOVITAL, but lives in Australia and travels globally for competitions. She may be contacted via

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