Famous or not, every athlete finds joy in playing their chosen sport. Training to get to the top will always be important, as will nutrition, but many athletes are surprised to find just how much sleep quality impacts their recovery and performance.
In fact, when you get better sleep, particularly in the REM cycle, you have more energy for both your brain and body. Losing sleep means your body doesn’t get that precious time it needs to clean up the clutter by repairing your memory, your cells, and releasing hormones.
That is why, whether you’re training for the ultimate event or trying to recover, sleep is one of the best remedies for any athlete. Experts recommend 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Doing so not only keeps your mood on balance, but it also boosts your concentration and performance.
Sports involve quick thinking and even quicker action. If you deny yourself solid sleep quality, you will lose that split-second instinct and either miss your shot or wind up with an injury that will take you out of the season until you’re recovered. Additionally, going without enough sleep can increase cortisol, the stress hormone, along with glycogen and carbohydrates that your body has stored to use during physical activity.
Sleep quality, along with plenty of hydration and proper nutrition, is really the key to performance and good health. If you want to keep competing, be it for fun or professionally, you’ve got to take the time to do what the most finely-tuned athletes the world over do…get the sleep you need!