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How Does Sleep Affect Your Athletic Performance?

November 02, 2022 2 min read

As an athlete, sleep is something that can sometimes be neglected in your health routine. We all lead extremely busy lives between work, school, the gym, family time, self care, fun, ect. When are we supposed to find the time to sleep?? According the the National Sleep Foundation, it is very important that we don't 'sleep' on this very important aspect of your health.

All jokes aside, if you are trying to be the healthiest and fittest version of you, you NEED sleep. 

How much should you sleep?

Okay, so we all know that sleep is important, but how much do we even need? There is a general guideline set by the National Sleep Foundation that states- healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. This amount can  vary depending on factors such as overall health, daily activities, and your personal sleep patterns, however the 7 to 9 hour rule works for most people.

How can sleep benefit your athletic performance?

Sleeping is the number one way for your body and brain to reset and recover from your day. The main benefits that sleep has to your athletic performance are...

Improved Immune System

As an athlete it's incredibly important to maintain your health in order to be at your best performance. Sleeping is one way to help your immune system stay strong enough to fight sickness.

Maintain A Healthy Weight

Lifting weights isn't the only thing you need to do to improve your physique. Recovery is just as important to keeping weight off as the workout is. Your muscles need time to recover and rebuild stronger. A lot of this is done during rest times and sleep.

Reduce Stress/Improved Mood

When you're stressed and your mood is low, it can be hard to perform at your best. Sleeping enough is an easy way to minimize stress and maximize your good mood.

Clearer Mind

 A clear mind is essential when it comes to doing almost anything! During the night your brain needs time to reset and recharge. If it doesn't get enough time to do this your mental awareness can be affected.

Can lack of sleep negatively affect your performance?

The answer is YES. When you don’t get enough sleep, your athletic performance can take a turn for the worst. Not enough sleep can cause:

  • Short Attention Span
  • Slower Reaction Time
  • Reduced Awareness Of Things Around You
  • Poor Memory
  • Grogginess & Irritability

 All of these things directly relate to your ability to perform at a high level. 

Tips To Sleep Better:

There are several ways that you can improve your sleep schedule and help your athletic performance.

  • Stick to the same sleep schedule every day (even on weekends).
  • Create a relaxing pre-bed routine.
  • Choose a mattress that makes you feel comfortable.
  • Minimize distractions such as light, sound, aroma, and temperature.
  • Disconnect from electronics at least a half hour before bed.
  • Try to monitor caffeine and alcohol consumption in the hours leading up to bed time.