Want to be a Superstar – Aim for Super Sleep
Are you an aspiring elite athlete? If so, you may find yourself living in a perpetual cycle
designed to amplify peak performance. Simplified it may look something like this…
All – with a little social life in between!
Training involves your daily or 2-a-day sessions, whether underneath a coach or on your own, to prepare for an upcoming competition. Everyone loves food, and quality of your nutritional plans are already regarded with high priority when it comes to enhancing performance. However, SLEEP is equally, if not more powerful a tool than your diet. Typically, filed lower on the totem pole, those hours of resting truly may play a vital role in reaching your athletic potential.
Many studies have shown that “sleep training” is a key factor in maintaining healthy cognitive and physical function. According to Michael J. Breus, Ph.D, “From speed and reaction time to decision-making and recovery, both sleep quality and sleep quantity can make athletes stronger, quicker, smarter, and more agile.” According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens need 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to function their best. For young adults (anyone between the ages of 18 and 25), that number is 7 to 9 hours of sleep. For school-age children (between the ages of 6 and 13), the number is 9 to 11 hours of sleep.”
With that said, let us dive into the negative impacts of sleep deprivation and the benefits of maintaining a proper sleep schedule.
May cause Drop in Energy Levels:
- The feeling of fatigue during the day = less productive practice and training sessions, as well as, a less powerful performance on the “Field”
- Metabolism alterations – upsets your bodies natural balance of energy expenditure vs. appetite
May cause Increased Pain/Inflammation:
- Without sleep you are increasing the risk of stiffness, reducing anti-inflammatories in the body and decreasing mobility.
- More consistent Pain & Risk of Injury – “Sufficient sleep also greatly reduces injury risk in young athletes. An abstract presented at the 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference found that adolescent athletes who slept eight or more hours each night were 68% less likely to be injured than athletes who regularly slept less.”
Decreased Cognitive Function: may result in loss of
- Reaction Time
- Muscle Memory
- Decision Making Skills
Now that you know a little bit more about the impacts of sleep in both directions let us talk about real world elite athletes. For example, Lebron James has stated he spends $1.5 million a year to keep his body healthy, and both he and his trainer agree sleep is by far his most valuable asset.
His trainer Mike Mancias said that “consistently creating an environment conducive to great sleep is one of LeBron’s most fruitful habits.” Including: making sure the temperature is set between 68 – 70 degrees with the room completely dark is optimal. Turning off all electronics (televisions, phones, etc.) half hour to 45 minutes before you want to go to sleep. You will have no distraction and room to relax your mind. We all love to scroll on the internet and our social media accounts at night to catch up on everything, but you owe it to yourself and you owe it to your recovery to commit and create an environment. It comes down to 3 main objectives – “having the room at optimal temperature, dark, no electronics and a comfortable bed.”
Overall, sleep deprivation takes a significant toll on an athletes RECOVERY, mental and physical. Managing your recovery and sleep may allow you to sustain optimum performance throughout the competition and off seasons of training. Most importantly through your ATHLETIC CAREER. Do you want to play like a SUPERSTAR? Well, start by aiming for SUPER sleep.
Remember sleep powers performance.
Are you getting enough sleep? To find out take the Athletic Genetix DNA test and talk with our sleep specialists to work out the best plan of action tailored to your body’s exact needs.
Athletic Genetix was created to empower and educate athletes, using their DNA to derive game-changing plans to fuel their future.
Email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your sports consultation.