Importance of Sleep and Practical Tips for Athletes

some of us get more than others and whatwe’ve been finding in the research is

that sleep can really have a significantimpact on athletic performance. Here’s an example of a study that I found the other day that I wanted

to share with you.The reason I like it is it’s a summary of all the sleep quality studies that have been done in athletic performance. So I wanted to share with you at least the key findings.

There are four things in this first paragraph. The first one, insomnia symptomatology, big word there, is high among elite athletes. In other words, not getting enough sleep or not being ableto sleep is very common in elite athletes. Number two, sleep quality appears to be the most vulnerable prior to major competitive events. This may be I suggest due to anxiety or something like that.

Number three, it also appears that during periods of high intensity training it could be that you’re just too tired to sleep or maybe you have soreness, for example. So it’s hard to sleep.Then the last one is long-haul travel to competitions.

That’s one of those ones where maybe you’re crossing time zones or you’re in a plane or a busfor a very long time, and so it makes it very difficult to sleep when you arrive.Also think about when you may sleep on the plane or bus and then arrive and not be able to sleep when you need to go to sleep.In the second component there, an athlete’s sleep disturbances can affect trainingand competition directly through fatigue or indirectly through sleep related performance anxieties. In other words, if you don’t get enough sleep as an athlete,your performances both in training and competition will go down.

Also, you will have anxiety issues whether it be anxiety about trying to go to sleep oranxiety. Therefore, you can’t sleep, and so think about those as an athlete and how that can affect you. This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen these studies, and a lot of universities are starting to pick up on this with their athletes.So if you’re an athlete out there this is something you need to be aware of.

Here’s an example. The first one at West Virginia they are monitoring their athlete’s heart rate and sleep in a program called WHOOP, and the University of Arizona College of Medicine is doing a program called Recovery Enhancement and Sleep Training (REST) where their athletes wear fitbits and track their sleep habits and diaries.

They found that more than eighty percent of the participants noted improved sleep and ninety percent of them said the reason that their athletic performance was going up was due to being or having more sleep.

The last one was at Stanford where their men’s and women’s swim teams participated in a study where they actually got more sleep and rated their performance, and they found that their performance sprint times and reaction time inturn time actually increased. So there’s clear advantages here to getting more sleep.But how do you do it right?

It’s easy for me to just say “Hey, get more sleep!”But actually practically doing it is problematic at times, and so here are a few tips that I recommend that you consider. For best choic

They’re prettysimplistic, but they work, and the first one is develop a sleeping routine.What I mean by that is is develop a time when you go to bed. Don’t go to bed teno’clock one night, eight o’clock the next night, and 2:00 a.m. the next night.It doesn’t work! Your body needs routine, it needs a habit, so go to bed at 11:00every night and get up at 7:00 in the morning. When you do that your clockbegins to function normally and you’re able to fall asleep when you need to.The second is develop a wake-up routine. A lot of times, you know,

we just want tohit the snooze button and lay around for 20 minutes, or or hit the snooze buttonseven times, or get straight out of bed on the first one, or be up too early.Whatever it is we need a wake-up routine where we do the same thingsevery morning and so we’re prepared when we wake up to be awake.That third one I think is pretty important.

It’s something that we struggle with inan age of technology, which is ironic considering this is what I’m using now,but we need to consider how muchelectronic time we have before we sleep. I think this is very importantbecause our our mind is very actively engaged when we’re watching somethingor using Facebook or whatever it is.

Instead, just get a book and spend 10-15minutes before bed reading that book. That will kind of slow things down foryou, and it will allow your body to transition from the day into the night.So that’s all I have for today. If you have any questions, of course feel free to contact me.

If you’re interested in being a client, I’llbe happy to have a discussion with you and look at how we can increase your performances.But for now, I hope you found that useful. My websiteinformation is there, and until.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *