It’s common for athletes to neglect their sleep in favor of more training time. However, there is a significant link between how much you sleep and your athletic performance. Sleep deprivation can cause a drop in muscle strength, coordination problems, and an increase in injury risk. It’s no wonder that many professional athletes have their own personal sleep coaches! In this article, we will discuss how sleep can impact athletic performance.
How can sleep affect your athletic performance?
One of the most important aspects of training for athletes is not just physical (training) but mental as well. Along with workouts and training, it’s crucial for athletes to get enough good quality sleep. The amount of sleep an athlete gets can have a huge impact on their performance in a game. Sleep is also very important for recovery since when we sleep our body does its own repair work on itself.
Sleep is a complex physiological process that involves the brain, eyes, muscles and hormones such as cortisol. The quantity and quality of your sleep both contribute to your overall health. High amounts of high-quality sleep are crucial for optimal athletic performance. While you sleep, your body produces more Human Growth Hormone (HGH). HGH is responsible for repairing muscle and growth. It also helps regulate metabolism to improve brain function. In short, this hormone will help you build lean muscle mass and burn fat!
Physical and mental performance are improved with more sleep. There is less risk for injury and it can improve coordination. Better hit rate and more goals scored have been noted by athletes who get a full night’s rest. Faster reaction times and overall muscle strength can be gained with more sleep.
Is sleeping less bad for athletic performance?
Athletes that sleep less can suffer from problems such as decreased strength, slower reaction times, lack of coordination, and more that could make all the difference in how they play the game.
They train hard and play often enough that a lack of sleep can even lead to injuries which are particularly dangerous in situations where contact could take place like football, rugby, and soccer. These sports don’t just require top-notch coordination but the ability to think quickly on your feet in response to an ever changing situation.
How much sleep do an athlete need?
Most people require between 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and it’s recommended that student athletes get, if possible, 9-10 hours sleep per night. Short term effects of not getting enough sleep include loss in muscle mass, slower reaction times, mood swings and decreased concentration. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to depression or anxiety, heart and breathing problems and an increase in your risk for injury from lack of coordination.
The quality of your sleep is just as important as the quantity. High levels of stress and anxiety can cause a disruption in the regular circadian cycle, which will make you more prone to insomnia. Additionally, if your brain doesn’t feel rested after waking up, it may be difficult to fall back asleep or simply get less restful sleep. In fact, one common symptom of anxiety is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night.
When considering how much sleep you need, keep in mind that this is a guideline and each person’s duration of sleep will vary. If you feel like you’re missing out on quality sleep or are tired during the day, be sure to consult your doctor. Incorporating more sleep into your diet could have a significant impact on your athletic performance!
Tips for getting better, more restful sleep as an professional athlete
Sleep is very important for optimal athletic performance. Along with workouts and training, getting enough good quality sleep is crucial. There are plenty of ways to improve the quality of your sleep so that you not only get more restful sleep but also wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead!
Here are some ways you can improve your sleep:
- Keep a regular schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
- Keep your bedroom cool. Keep your room’s temperature set between 66°F-72°F. Turn on a white noise machine to help block out any distractions such as sound or light.
- Practice relaxation techniques. Try meditation or deep breathing or listening to soft music before bed.
- Use your bedroom for sleep and only sleep. Shut off electronics at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. Set an alarm if you need one, or use a wake up light alarm for easier mornings!
- Make sure your mattress is comfortable, supportive and not lumpy, saggy or too hard. Try different positions when sleeping to find out what is most comfortable.
Getting enough sleep is crucial for optimal athletic performance. There are plenty of ways to improve the quality of your sleep so that you not only get more restful sleep but also wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead! The tips we’ve provided should help with improved physical as well as mental performance, less injury risk, better coordination, faster reaction times and muscle strength. I hope you have found this article to be informative and useful. Thank you for reading!