Rest cycles, in particular sleep, is an area of athletic performance that often is over-looked and under-valued when it comes to game preparation. Part of the recovery process, proper rest and knowing how to manage this important factor of sports performance can often determine success or failure when it comes to competition. “Rest cycles, in particular proper sleep, is vital to performance in relation to athletes who compete over day long events such as track meets where the athlete has multiple events on their plate,” says Troy Ramsey, Director of Sports Performance at Athlete Training and Health “Hydration and a solid diet leading up to and during competition are important factors but the body also needs to be well rested leading up to their events.”
A variety of factors contribute to an athlete’s performance in competition. These include nutrition, strength and conditioning training, etc, but lack of rest can hinder the recovery process and nullify any gains from the aforementioned variables. In 2010 Stanford University completed a sleep study within their basketball program to gauge the effects of fatigue and performance. The process found that their basketball players were sleeping between 6 to 6.5 hours a night on average. Multiple factors came into play such as academic work load, practice, and travel time between competitions.
These results correlated with a 2002 National Sleep Foundation’s “Sleep in America” survey that found 63% of working adults received less than 8 hours of recommended sleep. In other words, student athletes were getting just as little sleep as working adults with the added pressures of having to physically perform in their respective sports. Stanford countered these results by increasing each players sleep time to 10 hours of self-reported sleep.
By significantly increasing sleep, by as much as 60%, the athletes improved both their 3-point average and free throw average by 9% along with a .10 sec improvement in their 40 yard dash times. Independent studies have shown that by utilizing 5-6 sleep cycles per rest period our bodies can properly regenerate for competition. For athletic performance training visitAthleteTH.com and register for our FLEX training programs.
Athlete Training and Health trains high school athletes 6 days a week and offers free athletic performance evaluations Monday through Thursday evenings.