3 Ways Sleep Impacts Athletic Performance

3 Ways Sleep Impacts Athletic Performance

When we think about what it takes to be a great athlete, most of us envisage someone who spends hours at the gym. We imagine an individual who follows a strict and healthy diet regime.

What we seldom picture, however, is just how much time an athlete must spend in bed in order to remain competitive.

Sleep can make all the difference in an athlete’s performance. It can be the key differentiator between whether an athlete wins the race that day, and whether they lose. Sleep impacts athletes in a number of ways, but we will be discussing the top 3 that have the greatest effect on their performance.

 

1. Sleep Will Improve An Athlete’s Reaction Time

The difference between winning and losing can be fractions of a second, so an elite athlete must be on his or her toes to even have a chance of winning. One study involving 39 subjects found that after 17 to 19 hours without sleep, the performance on some tests was equivalent to or even worse than if an individual had a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.05%.

Response speeds were also affected. For some tests individuals were 50% slower and their accuracy measures were significantly poorer. The subjects were deprived of sleep for a total of 28 hours, at which point performance levels reached levels which were the equivalent of a BAC of 0.1% .

 

2. Sleep Will Improve Accuracy

Stanford researcher Cheri Mah followed the men’s university basketball team in order to complete her sleep-extension study. After the team went through a 7-week long sleep extension period (the goal was for athletes to have 10 hours of sleep per night), Mah found that shooting accuracy improved. Free throw percentage increased by 9%, and the 3-point field goal percentage increased by 9.2%.

 

3. Sleep Will Reduce Risk of Injury

Given that sleep improves an athlete’s reaction time, it is no wonder that it will also help athletes stay injury-free. A recent study from the University of California found that the injury rates in youth athletes increased during games which followed a night when a player received less than 6 hours of sleep. But there are two other reasons why adequate sleep reduces an athlete’s risk of injury:

  1. a) Sleep keeps an individual’s immune system in top shape, making players less susceptible to illness
  1. b) Sleep allows the body to regenerate cells and repair itself (something which is necessary if you are working out on a regular basis)

Sleep is important for anyone in terms of maintaining optimal health, but it is one of the most critical pillars of success for elite athletes. Athletes often feel at a loss if they suffer from snoring or sleep apnea (or if their partner does) as many solutions do not work, are too expensive, or are too uncomfortable to use.

The Good Morning Snore Solution® is a mouthpiece which is referred to as a “tongue stabilizing device” or TSD. Unlike a CPAP machine where mask must be worn or a mandibular advancement device (MAD) which pushes the lower jaw forward (this can result in jaw or facial pain), this clinically proven TSD uses gentle suction to draw the tongue forward and keep it in place. This keeps the airway open all night, thus reducing the occurrence of snoring.

Don’t let snoring stand in the way of your success. To learn more about how the Good Morning Snore Solution® can improve your sleep, we invite you to visit http://goodmorningsnoresolution.com/.

 

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25028798
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21694586
http://www.journalsleep.org/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=28194
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1739867/

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