Importance Of Sleep

importance of sleep athletes runners running sports performance recovery healing injury

written by runnergirl training 

The importance of sleep is often overlooked. However, it is a highly essential part of a balanced training program. Society often pressures us to do more & taking time for adequate nightly sleep or naps is seen as a luxury.

Many elite athletes sleep at least 10 hours per night. Most adults should get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. When you are habitually short on sleep your workouts, health and everything else can suffer. Also hormonal changes, such as the stress hormone cortisol soar when sleep is decreased and resting heart rate increases. Another impactful response to less sleep is less human growth hormone that repairs and helps recover from workouts. Muscles have a decreasing ability to store glycogen with less sleep. That means you can have adequate nutrition and be unable to store that energy.

There is also a cognitive impact from sleep loss. Memories and information is not correctly stored to be recalled later. And if the body is not adequately recovered physically from sleep it can be prone to injuries.

There are two types of sleep needs. There is the basal sleep need, which is the amount of sleep regularly needed. Sleep debt is the accumulated sleep loss.

So, how do you focus on getting sleep? Try these tips:

1.Have a consistent schedule
2. Make the bedroom calm, dark, quiet
3. Limit technology in the hour before sleep
4. Don’t nap in the afternoon or early evening
5. Limit caffeine and alcohol
6. Have a relaxing routine before bedtime
7. Get to sleep just 30 min earlier to prepare for a race or game

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