Why a Good Night's Sleep is so Important for Athletes

Why a Good Night's Sleep is so Important for Athletes

With the World Cup now on our screens, and Wimbledon just around the corner, it got us thinking. How important is a good night’s sleep to athletes and other fitness enthusiasts?

Whether it’s playing football, running a marathon or lifting weights - sleep and rest are crucial to an athletes success in their chosen playing field. And as such, the importance of their sleeping environment to achieve these goals is key.

1. Good sleep improves reaction times

To be on top of your game, you must be getting the optimum number of hours sleep every night. Between 7-9 hours is recommended, and achieving this helps to keep you consistently focussed. Sleep deprivation can drastically reduce reaction times and for an athlete that could result in missing a game winning shot.

2. Rested athletes equals fewer injuries

Similar to how sleep improves reaction times, rest can significantly improve focus, which consequently means a reduced chance of sustaining injury. By giving the full attention to the task at hand they can perform both efficiently and properly to ensure that any injuries are reduced to a minimum. Fatigue can cause manoeuvres to be carried out incorrectly. In addition, if you are unlucky enough to sustain an injury then rest is vital to aid the recovery process.

3. Psychological wellbeing can improve performance

Lack of sleep, or lack of quality sleep, can severely affect a person’s mood. Typically this mood change will be negative and leave the person with a feeling of general melancholy. This type of mood obviously can affect morale, which can have an impact on a person’s performance on the job.

On the playing field, this might mean missed PB’s or missed opportunities because their mental health isn’t matching their physical ability. Mental and physical well-being must be aligned for an athlete to be at the top of their game.

 

6th July 2018

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