Sleep to Be an All-Star: Why Athletes Should Make Sleep a Priority in Their Daily Training (Infographic)

athleteSleep affects the performance of athletes, reaction times and recovery times. Fatigue Science provides technology to give fatigue measurements and their technology has been in used by different professional sports team. The fatigue measurement technology is useful to ensure that enough sleep is consistently incorporated into the training regimes of athletes.

Usain Bolt attributes the records of having broken the world records at both the 100m and 200m sprint distances and the six Olympic gold medals to getting adequate and quality sleep. Bolt says that sleep is extremely important for him since it allows him to rest and recover as well as ensure that the training undertaken is absorbed by his body.

Sleep has different benefits for different athletes in their respective sports disciplines. Optimal sleep has been shown to provide peak athletic performance. Sleep is a competitive edge that athletes can leverage upon to get better at their skill.

The impact of sleep on sports performance cannot be understated. Poor sleep will from the very beginning affect glucose metabolism reducing it by up to 30 to 40%. Poor sleep will additionally reduce the time to exhaustion by eleven percent. Studies reveal that two days without quality sleep will to a threefold increase in lapses of attention and reactivity.

On the other hand, quality sleep improves split second decision making by 4.3 percent. A 20-30 minute power nap is going to improve alertness by 100 percent. The benefit of sleep to tennis players can be seen in the improvement of hitting accuracy in depth drills by 42 percent. Football players will shed 0.1 seconds off their forty yard sprint times by getting a little more sleep. Sleep extension among swimmers leads to a seventeen percent increase in reaction times off the blocks. These are but a few examples of how sleep may positively impact sports performance.

Sleep is equally important in sport as diet and exercise. Sleep is for champions and is half of any training. Roger Federer confesses that he needs 11 to 12 hours of sleep each day to feel right. Sleep is the secret to a healthier body, more capable, and a more efficient body.

To reap the maximum benefits of sleep, sportsmen and sportswomen must do the following:

1)      Maintain a regular sleep and wake schedule whenever they are on a training program.

2)      A good night of sleep before games will mean all the difference.

3)      Ensure that you get a season of good sleep every night during a sports season.

4)      Ensure that they train at a time of day when they will be competing

5)      Athletes should ensure that the training load is based on recovery

6)      Getting a 20 to 30 minute nap will necessary for a win.

Sleep should hence be made a priority by sportsmen and sportswomen. Sleeping more will mean better results and even new personal records. Sleep is the ultimate secret weapon in sport.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

Somnowell Inventor - Visiting Professor Simon Ash FDS MSc MOrth BDS

Prof. Ash is the inventor of the highly successful SOMNOWELL Chrome device for snoring and sleep apnoea.

The Somnowell Chrome is made to exacting standards in the Somnowell laboratory under the supervision of Visiting Professor Simon Ash. Prof. Ash and his master technicians create each Somnowell Chrome device using their wealth of experience and expertise.

Prof. Ash works at the forefront of his profession. He is a Consultant and Specialist Orthodontist with over 30 years clinical experience, with a special interest in sleep related breathing disorders, TMJD, and bruxism. He currently works in Harley Street London and two private hospitals in London as part of a multi-disciplinary team managing snoring and sleep apnoea, and is Visiting Professor of Orthodontics at the BPP University.