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Why Sleep is Key to Better Sports Performance

Sleep and Sports PerformanceAthletes who train hard every day need to sleep hard every night. Though researchers are still uncovering all the benefits of sleep, recent evidence suggests that improved sleep can improve athletic performance, too.

Competitive athletes should aim to get between 8 and 10 hours of sleep every night. To ensure that you get quality, REM sleep, you should make sure your bedroom is cool, dark and quiet. With hours of quality sleep on your side, you should see improvements in your sports performance like:

Increased Energy

It’s a no-brainer that getting enough quality sleep improves how much energy you have the next day. With more energy, you can perform better during competition and train harder during practice.

Improved Split-Second Decision Making

Loss of sleep results in loss of cognitive functions, including decision-making skills. Studies suggest that more sleep can lead to faster reaction times and better reflexes. For sports like tennis, basketball and more, even a fraction of a second can make a big difference. A well-rested athlete is able to make better, faster decisions that an athlete suffering from sleep deprivation.

Better Mood

Improved mood may not seem like it is important to athletes at first glance, but if you think about how you feel during training, you’ll see mood is important. Mood can be the difference between giving it your all in practice or simply going through the motions. A poor mood can even make weights seem heavier or exercises seem more painful.

Increased Coordination

Coordination is all about muscle memory. You can improve your memory by sleeping well every night. During sleep, your mind creates long-term memories, including memories related to body movements. With the right amount of sleep, you’ll be better able to perfect your technique and coordination in practice.

At Bon Secours, we help athletes of all levels achieve better performance with physical training, nutrition advice and more. Learn more about our sports performance services.