Athletes are known for working hard and having intensive trainings every day in order to get in perfect shape for an upcoming game or competition. In case you didn’t know, the process of recovery is equally important as the process of working out, and getting enough sleep is vital for athletes’ overall well-being. Just stay with us and keep on reading if you want to know in what ways sleep affects their performance!
How much sleep do athletes need?
You’ve probably heard that 8 hours of sleep are optimal for the majority of people, and women even tend to call it ‘beauty sleep’. However, the truth is that athletes in training may need more than that. It’s quite logical – they need more calories than most people, since they’re in training, which is exactly why they need more sleep, too. An extra hour will be just fine for them to recover properly. So, you can either go to bed one hour earlier, or take an afternoon nap instead. Both options can be equally effective.
Does sleep really affect athletic performance?
Not getting enough sleep can affect you on many levels, but not only when it comes to your overall feeling of tiredness the next day. It also has a huge impact of what’s happening inside your body, simply because sleep is the time when your body repairs itself. When you don’t get enough of it, your body as a consequence can’t perform well. There was actually a study that proved that basketball players increased their speed by 5% when they got two hours of sleep more per night. Their free throws were more accurate, too, which just shows the importance of a good night’s sleep when talking about athletic performance.
It improves overall health and reduces injury rates
A tired athlete will probably react much slower to potential threats, which is why he’s likely to get injured in the gym, court, field, or on the ice. Besides that, shorter periods of sleep won’t let your body repair and regenerate the cells that were under pressure from games and intensive workouts, which can get even worse if you develop game-earned injuries or potential health issues. Needless to say, your body is more prone to illnesses when you’re sleep-deprived, since fatigue can affect your body’s immune system much faster when that’s the case.
Tips for getting a quality good night’s sleep
Even though there are a lot of things that can get in the way, you should always give your best to get a quality good night’s sleep that will provide you with enough energy for the next day. No matter if you have to work out early in the morning, have a game late in the evening, or travel for a game, there are still ways to make it happen. First of all, you should come up with a regular schedule and stick to it no matter what. Make sure to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. It will be rough at first, but you’ll get used to it. Besides that, you should also get the best air purifier you can find, since such a device will significantly improve the quality of your sleep. When you’re on the road, it can be a bit difficult to keep up with a new setting which is likely to mess up your sleeping schedule. That’s exactly why you should get there a few days or even a week before your game, so that your body can adjust to the changes. It’s also important to reduce your alcohol and caffeine intake, since they can disrupt your sleep and cause poor performance. You should also do all you can do make your room as sleep-friendly as you can, so to say, and to remove all digital distractions.
As you can see, getting a good night’s sleep is of the utmost importance, not only for athletes in training, but also for ordinary people who don’t work out on a daily basis. It allows your body to function properly the next day, which is crucial if you have an important game coming up. Even if you don’t, you should sleep at least seven hours every night in order to feel energized and pumped up, because that’s one of the best feelings in the world!