Our Crossfit Chiropractor Tash explains why sleep is so important to sports performance and how the two are so closely linked.
Sleep is more important than you think! If you are fairly active, just like to keep fit, or a high level elite athlete, sleep is so important when it comes down to performance within a sport.
- Athletes who slept on average less than 8 hours per night were 1.7 times more likely to have had an injury compared with athletes who slept for 8 or more hours.
- A more recent study showed that athletes with a consistent sleep pattern exhibited stronger relationships with performance testing, than those with an inconsistent sleep pattern.
- Its also been found that chronic lack of sleep is more likely to lead to injury than acute lack of sleep.
This demonstrates the importance of sleep when training, or competing in whatever sport. It can decrease chances of optimum performance, whether that is in strength, power, endurance, reaction time or co-ordination, but it also can increase the chance of injury due to possible lack of energy, concentration, motor function or cognitive function.
Simple ways to improve your sleep quality to help achieve peak sports performance:
☕️avoiding caffeine later in the day
📱avoiding bright screens before bed, or using blue light blocking glasses like these.
💆🏽♀️relaxing on days off or before a competition (how about a massage?)
Some people get anxious before bed and have a lot of things on their mind. Some ways to help switch off and relax your mind before bed are:
📓writing a diary/writing everything down which is on your mind
🧘🏽♂️meditate using an app
🌱Herbal teas such as Camomile, Peppermint or Lavender
Gao, B., Dwivedi, S., Milewski, M. and Cruz, A. (2019). Lack of Sleep and Sports Injuries in Adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, 39(5), pp.e324-e333.
Peacock, C., Mena, M., Sanders, G., Silver, T., Kalman, D. and Antonio, J. (2018). Sleep Data, Physical Performance, and Injuries in Preparation for Professional Mixed Martial Arts. Sports, 7(1), p.1.
Milewski, M., Skaggs, D., Bishop, G., Pace, J., Ibrahim, D., Wren, T. and Barzdukas, A. (2014). Chronic Lack of Sleep is Associated With Increased Sports Injuries in Adolescent Athletes. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, 34(2), pp.129-133.