Sleep – the winning edge to an athlete’s performance
Athletes need to lead a disciplined life focused on diet and exercise combined with a dedicated training schedule. These form the bedrock for producing successful sportspeople. However, over a period of time, the intensity of training increases, demanding more hours of physical exertion. Thus, it is crucial to compensate it adequately. An integral and oft overlooked aspect of this is good sleep.
Medicine specialists insist that people in the field of sports and exercise with intense physical activity should boost their health with not only good nutrition but also adequate sleep. In fact, as per sports medicine gurus, sleep is the secret mantra that can sustain an athlete for an extended period. The body needs time to rejuvenate and heal the muscles and tissues on its own.
However, people harbour a preconceived notion about longer sleeping hours. It is often mistaken as lethargy and thus, makes it a sheer wastage of time. And, sportspersons don’t have the luxury of time. They need to prepare hard and stay focused to ace in their respective field. Therefore, the need for good quality sleep is paramount for them, which cannot be overlooked. Sleep is the time when the body rejuvenates and heals the muscles and tissues on its own. So let’s dig in deeper to find out about the importance of sleep for athletes.
What sleeping pattern do elite athletes follow?
It is alarming to know that elite athletes get much less sleep as they are required to work hard and adhere to their strict training schedules to compete for international tournaments like the Olympics, commonwealth games, etc. As a result, there is chronic sleep deprivation in professional athletes in the present scenario, which negatively impacts their overall performance and recovery.
There could be many reasons behind their sleeplessness, such as frequent travelling, jet lag, intense training, stress, and exposure to social media. Blame it on the technological penetration of gadgets in the current lifestyle; athletes too find it hard to put away their hand-phones/laptops/tablets during the night. This leads to poor sleep, which is detrimental to their athletic performance, physical recovery and mental health.
Why is it crucial for athletes to prioritize sleep?
There could be profound implications of sleep deprivation in athletes that could be dangerous to their performance, reduces recovery, and increase their chances of getting injured. Let’s look at the harmful side effects of reduced and poor quality sleep.
- Lack of proper sleep could result in a decreased brain function. As a result, the cognitive, psychomotor abilities get weakened that, in turn, impacts decision-making ability and judgement in sportspeople at crucial times.
- Sleep aids in the proper digestion of food. Since athletes often consume a high-carb diet, they need good metabolism to break the food into energy. Therefore, athletes could experience weight gain, etc., due to lack of sleep.
- Poor sleep also impacts the growth cycle and cortisol secretion in the body.
- Sleep deprivation increases pro-inflammatory cytokines that weaken the immune system and muscle repair and increases stress and anxiety in the players.
Therefore, athletes should start talking about the benefits of sleep. It could start with prioritizing their sleep, a dedicated effort to work on their sleeping patterns.
Where could sportspeople find an experienced sleep advisor to address all their sleep-related woes?
Hit the refresh button with Sleep Moksha:
At Sleep Moksha, we help elite athletes reclaim their mood, mental clarity, energy, performance and ultimately help them chase their dreams of marching upto the podium.
Sleep Moksha is a heartfelt endeavor to help athletes to develop a healthy sleeping routine by one of the best sleep experts in the field, Dr. Monika Sharma.
We understand the importance of maintaining sleep fitness for elite athletes. Dr. Sharma is a sleep expert and an experienced consultant from the University of Pennsylvania who has helped many clients with sleep problems over the years. She has over 13 years long experience in the field and is a regular speaker, panel expert, and advisor on numerous sleep-related forums. Her impressive portfolio, backed by some great testimonies from her clients, makes her one of the top sleep advisors in the country.
To know more about importance of sleep and her work on Sleep therapy for athletes, write to her at email@example.com.