by Pat Stanziano, MPT, Hons BSc Kin
March 16th 2018, marked the 11th World Sleep Day. This year’s slogan was “Join the Sleep World, Preserve Your Rhythms to Enjoy Life”, and it serves as the inspiration for this blog.
Sleep is considered by athletes, coaches, and the sport medicine team to be one of the most important factors for post-exercise recovery; yet, it remains one of the most ignored. Inadequate sleep combined with failure to rest, travel fatigue, and jet lag contribute to poor recovery and, they jeopardize an athlete’s capability to maximize athletic performance at any level.
Elite athletes are susceptible to over-training due to the grueling nature of their training programs required to compete at an elite level. Most athletes, in particular teenage athletes, find it difficult balancing training and regimented schedules with the typical demands of life to get enough sleep to recover properly.
But recovery is the key to reaping the full benefit of training, and sleep is a major component of the recovery process. So here are some tips to improve sleep to help maximize recovery and, consequently, performance:
Whether you are a high-level athlete with a rigorous training program or just trying to stay fit with regular exercise, remember that good sleep hygiene is essential for a full recovery and critical to the overall health benefits of exercise and activity.
Bird, S. (2013): Sleep, Recovery, and Athletic Performance: A Brief Review and Recommendations. Strength & Conditioning Journal 35(5) 43-47.
Bonnar, D. et al (2018): Sleep Interventions Designed to Improve Athletic Performance and Recovery: A Systematic Review of Current Approaches. Sports Medicine 48(3) 683-703.