While we put a lot of stress on the importance of training and nutrition when it comes to maximizing athletic potential, we tend to undermine the value of a good night’s sleep. With the recent addition of apps that track sleep patterns and promote the health benefits of a sound sleep, more and more coaches and athletes are paying attention to getting a full night of rest.
For years, discussions around sleep and exercise were centered around the theme that they were strange bedfellows, with claims that exercise too close to bedtime disrupts sleep. Add to that the propensity for athletes to partake in early morning workouts and evening competitions, and it’s clear that the lifestyle of an athlete doesn’t lend itself to healthy sleep habits.
Yet more and more research suggests that athletic performance is improved when athletes lengthen the time spent sleeping. And more and more sleep experts are promoting the importance of educating athletes on good sleep hygiene.
Despite the importance of adequate sleep, athletes often complain of not getting enough. So how do athletes fight back against a schedule that promotes sleep debt? First, it’s important to make sleep a priority. When possible, scheduling changes should be made, even if it allows for just an extra hour of shut-eye per night. Napping during the daytime should not be frowned upon but encourage.
This article was written by Jill Barker and originally published in the Montreal Gazette. You can read the full article here: http://bit.ly/2JSvkO4