ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE + SLEEP: WHY IT’S CRUCIAL TO GET PROPER REST
If you’re looking to improve your athletic performance then look no further than your sleeping habits. There are many different aspects to achieving good physical health, such as nutrition and training. However, it’s important to note that your sleep works in conjunction with those areas.
From muscle repair, to mental health, to avoiding injury, it provides benefits you can’t find elsewhere. Read on to discover the key components of why athletes need to prioritize their sleep in order to ensure peak performance day in and day out.
TRAIN HARD, SLEEP HARD
Human growth hormone is naturally released and circulated throughout the body when you enter a state of deep sleep. Researchers speculate that athletic performance is improved during this time. This is due to human growth hormone plays a large role in muscle growth, muscle repair, and fat burning.
However, the release of human growth hormone is significantly slowed if you don’t get enough rest. When this occurs, your body doesn’t have a window of opportunity to heal properly. The amount of time you invest in training is important to you. Don’t let it go to waste by skimping out on sleep and hindering your results. Consider it a recovery period that prepares you to be stronger and ready for the day ahead.
BRING YOUR A-GAME
Your physical health directly affects your athletic performance, but what about your mental health? Equally as important, sleep improves your mental state, boosting your mood and level of alertness to ensure your head is in the game.
Achieving mental clarity is directly linked to a good rest, as your reaction time and accuracy are affected by it. You’ll not only feel more motivated to get out there and train, but on game days you’ll find your focus is sharper. On the other side of the spectrum, sleep deprivation leads to a major reduction in your ability to react quickly. Even a single night of poor sleep taking several days to bounce back from.
STAY IN THE ZONE, NOT ON THE SIDELINES
Injuries are not uncommon when it comes to athletes, but they can be reduced with some forethought. You’re much less likely to sustain an injury if you’re well-rested due to having a better reaction time to potential threats while you’re competing. Additionally, deep sleep that results in the production of human growth hormone will give your muscles enough time to properly recover, which is critical to athletic performance.
This is especially true for young athletes. Studies show better performance, protection against injury, and improved recovery if injured amongst young athletes who sleep for 8-10 hours each night. A bad sleep here and there may feel fine at first. However, it will eventually catch up to you and may result in an injury that could have easily been avoided.
PUTTING SLEEP FIRST
When it comes to sleep, it’s impossible to substitute the endless benefits it provides. Without it, you’ll notice a drop in your athletic performance. Make sure to prioritize your sleep to ensure you wake up feeling like your best self, ready to tackle another day.
Now that you know the importance of sleep, are you curious to learn how you can work harder at getting a good rest? We’ve got you covered with articles on how to improve your existing sleep setup. Alternatively, head over to read our articles on the different types of mattress and pillow options available.