Fighting Fit – Five reasons why proper sleep is crucial to athletes

Fighting Fit – Five reasons why proper sleep is crucial to athletes

Here’s why you need to get at least seven hours of sleep per night. No exceptions.

By John Balfe - 11 Sep 2019

Most of us can be defined by one of two characteristics: night owls or early birds.

When it comes to the former, those who resit the urge to go to bed at a reasonable hour and sacrifice an hour or two of rest in favour of another episode of whatever you are currently binging on Netflix are at something of a disadvantage to people who retire early and get the adequate amount of rest.

The thing is, sleep is just as important to your overall health as exercising and fuelling your body with adequate nutrition but our current western environment and the multitude of screens and distractions that come with it is often at odds with our daily requirements.

Don’t believe us? Here are five reasons why sleep is an overlooked part of your overall workout plan.

You will put on weight without adequate sleep

A lack of sleep is one of the indicators of upcoming obesity. Adults how achieve a short sleep duration are 55% more likely to develop problems with their weight. Quality sleep is essential to your motivation for even going to the gym.

You consume less calories after good sleep

People who are sleep deprived can often have a bigger appetite and for this reason, consume more calories. Poor sleep leads to poor appetite regulation.

You will concentrate better if you are well rested

Good sleep is absolutely vital to your brain health and impacts your cognition, concentration, productivity and overall performance. On the flipside, those who get the adequate amount of rest have proven to be have better memory and problem-solving skills.

Sleep maximises athletic performance

A study conducted measuring the impact of sleep on basketball players showed how crucial its role in speed, accuracy, reaction times and mental wellbeing. Poor sleep can lead to poor exercise performance and even functional limitation.

Poor sleep leads to health problems

People who get less than the desired amount of sleep are increasing their chances of developing health problems later in life, such as cardiac and stroke issues. 7-8 hours per night can help alleviate this.