Athletes Rejoice: Sleep Can Help Your Performance

Athletes Rejoice: Sleep Can Help Your Performance

Athletes Rejoice: Sleep Can Help Your Performance

If you’re an athlete of any kind, you’re probably familiar with a rigorous workout schedule and the toll that that kind of activity can have on your body. It can get tiresome putting yourself through all that, leaving you nothing short of exhausted at the end of the day.

The good news? Getting plenty of sleep after a long workout can help improve your athletic performance, and help you cross the finish line.

Small Sleep Losses Can Add Up

While it’s true that missing a few hours here and there won’t be your biggest loss, too much of a bad thing can be what keeps you from crossing the finish line. Research has found that endurance athletes experience the most loss when it comes to not performing like they should due to getting less sleep.1

Runners or bikers who continually don’t get enough sleep may find that their time on their next race isn’t as great as it has been in the past. This is because without those coveted seven to nine hours a night, our brains start to hit a wall and our motivation decreases.

Similarly, studies have shown that when athletes get more sleep, they record faster sprint times and endurance levels.2  Our motor skills are also more alert if you’ve gotten plenty of sleep, resulting in better coordination. This is especially important if you’re a basketball or soccer player, where the pressure’s on to make the winning shot.3

How It Works

Our bodies naturally need and crave rest. When we listen to when our needs, it allows our brain to engage in the proper sleep cycles (which is what leaves you feeling well-rested).

Additionally, when we sleep, our bodies have the chance to repair themselves. Repeated physical activity puts more demand on an athlete’s muscles and tissue, so it stands to reason that more sleep allows an athlete’s body more time to repair any muscles that have been overworked.

Everyone’s Body Is Different

However, athletes of different ages have different sleep needs.4 Younger athletes, like those in middle or high school, require at least ten to twelve hours of sleep to reach their peak athletic performance. Adults should aim for at least eight hours.

A great way to guarantee you’re getting the appropriate amount of sleep so that you can take your team to victory is to create a soothing sleep routine. After a hard workout, take a nice, relaxing shower and spend some time stretching out those sore muscles before settling in for the night.

 A Win-Win Situation

It’s clear that losing sleep can only hinder your athletic performance. More sleep shows that it’s necessary if you want to keep raking in the W’s.

So, before your next early morning workout, be sure to hit the hay at a reasonable time, and you may start seeing the positive effects of sleep during your next match, race, or competition. That’s what we like to call a win-win situation.

For a list of  incredibly effective ways to get a better night sleep, click here....  

 

Sources:

 

  1. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-even-a-little-sleep-loss-hinders-your-athletic-performance/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21731144
  3. https://www.sleep.org/articles/how-sleep-affects-athletes/
  4. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/do-student-athletes-need-extra-sleep

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