For most athletes that dream of reaching the pinnacle of their chosen sport, making sacrifices is part of the game. This means a dedicated focus on diet, exercise and a range of techniques to manage their minds. One area which is starting to get more focus as athletes continually search for ways to get ahead is sleep? Sleep is an absolutely critical stage on the road to athletic success, right up there alongside diet and the actual training.
For tennis superstar, and arguably the game’s greatest Roger Federer, sleep plays just as an important role as actually hitting the practice court. Champion CrossFit athlete Rich Froning Jr. says he relies on his sleep more than his nutrition for the best results. The Adelaide Crows Aussie Rules team is dedicated to giving their players the best chance at success with specialist sleeping rooms at training. In fact getting the right amount of quality sleep is the Crows number one priority. The room is used daily by the players in a bid to recover better and in turn perform better.
Sleep plays a pivotal role in athletic performance and competitive results, a good quality sleep provides vital energy to both the brain and body and allows it to heal, build and recalibrate.
- Sleep is the most important part of the recovery cycle
- Recovery is the period during which muscle growth occurs and will not take place without enough sleep
- During sleep the brain enters rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Without enough REM sleep, memory and judgment is impaired and you perform poorly
- Sleep plays a vital role in protein synthesis, the release of Growth Hormone, and gives you the necessary energy needed for another day of training
Both mental and physical performance relies on high quality sleep. When a person is able to get the right balance of all the stages of sleep, their body produces more human Growth Hormone (HGH) and drastically improves their mental alertness.
All too often we seem to forget about the one component that is just as important to our health and well-being as diet and exercise – sleep. But as can be seen by an increasing number of athletes at the top of their game, sleep is becoming absolutely critical to athletic success. Adequate sleep is vital and absolutely necessary for healthy functioning, it regulates mood and assists in learning and memory function.
Sleep plays a pivotal role in athletic performance and competitive results. Just like you need more calories when you are training, you also need more sleep. When you push your body harder you need more time to recover, sleep is the time when your body repairs itself, if you don’t get enough sleep you’re not giving yourself the best chances to perform well.
Sleep is the most important part of the recovery cycle and thus needs to be a strategic aspect of your entire training program. If you want to be the best then sleep really has to be a major component of your training regime, positioned nicely next to the gym, nutrition, stretching, and actually playing your particular sport.
(Image courtesy of www.bath.ac.uk)