Sleep is an essential part of our health, although we may take it for granted. We have all had those all-nighters either spent out with friends or doing work, but you never feel great after those nights because you didn’t give your body the rest it needs. As important as sleep is for every human being, sleep is even more important for athletes who are training hard in their sport.
The importance of sleep for athletes can be compared to the importance of fuel for a car. The National Sleep Foundation came out recently with a study that found the amount of sleep an adult need is between 7 to 9 hours a night; however, athletes can benefit from up to 10 hours of sleep. Read on to learn why sleep is so important and how it can help athletes.
Why Is Sleep Important?
You may not know it, but sleep plays an enormous role in our well-being and health. Getting enough sleep is imperative for the way you and your brain function; it affects how you think, how fast you react to things, how well you work, the way you learn, and so much more. During sleep, our body is restoring itself and working to maintain healthy brain function and physical health.
We all have what we call a Circadian rhythm, which our body follows on a 24-hour cycle. Our circadian rhythm tells our body when we are most tired, and when we are most awake; usually, this depends on light (sleeping at night and being awake during the day). However, it is easy to throw this rhythm off, especially when you take naps during the day.
Keeping a proper sleep schedule that follows our natural circadian rhythm is essential for having a good sleep.
Sleep for Athletes
Sleep not only helps your body recover, which is a huge thing that athletes need for their muscles and tissues; it also is a great way to help you perform better. No matter how serious you are about the sport you are playing, you need to be still getting good sleep.
You may think, “how important is sleep, anyway?” Well, for being a better athlete, it’s crucial. Some examples of how sleep can help your performance include:
- An increase in your speed – not only in motion but as well in your reflexes and reaction times
- An increase in your intensity – getting a better sleep means you will be more likely to do higher-intensity workouts
- An increase in your mental strength – getting good sleep can boost alertness and mood, which is great for your game
- An increase in your coordination – sleep is one of the most important ways that the body can link body movements to memory and tune our motor skills, meaning you will be more able to repeat actions properly
Did you know your bedding can affect your sleep? Not having the right mattress can be a huge reason for a bad night’s sleep. You want to make sure that you test out multiple mattresses before choosing the right one for you. As well, you want to be on the lookout for some primary culprits of a bad mattress and bed:
- Worn-out mattresses have a higher allergy risk
- Creaking beds can cause chronic back pain
- A bad mattress can build your stress levels
Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Getting a night of good sleep is important for anyone, but they have shown it to benefit an athlete’s performance significantly. From reading the above, we hope that you understand how sleep for athletes is imperative to better their game and giving them a good schedule for their days.
If you want to read more articles about sports and sports tips, check out the rest of our blog! There is something there for everyone.