In order to achieve their peak performance, athletes are required to follow a lifestyle filled with strength and endurance building routines, a proper diet, and of course the proper amount of sleep. While diet and exercise go hand in hand with an athlete’s daily lifestyle, sleep is one thing that is often deprived. Here I will describe what the ideal amount of sleep is for an athlete; but first, some of the negative effects of them not getting enough sleep.
Negative Effects of not getting enough sleep
One of the negative effects of not getting enough sleep can be described as sleep debt. What this is, is when people do not get the correct amount of sleep they should be getting on a regular basis, those missed hours of sleep being to rack up, leading to constant exhaustion, even if they are getting the proper amount of sleep every night. Some of the side effects of sleep debt include:
- Mood changes
- Lowered physical ability
Needless to say, an athlete with these symptoms cannot perform his best, therefore leading to the importance of a good night’s rest. But for an athlete, how much sleep is actually enough?
Ideal amount of sleep for athletes
Getting enough sleep every night is difficult because we have to balance out all the other things we have to do in the day first. The average athlete should get 8 hours of sleep every night. The best way to require the correct amount of sleep is to break your day up into 3 parts, all 8 hours each. One should spend 8 hours sleeping, 8 hours doing athletic activities, schoolwork, and work, and the last 8 hours should be for recreation. All three of these elements are very important in efficiently promoting one’s overall health as well as their physical performance. By properly balancing one’s day, it is a little easier to get a good night’s rest.
While the concept listed above may seem simple, getting a full 8 hours of sleep may still be difficult to do. To ensure a decent amount of rest, here are a few tips to get in all your zzz’s.
Exercise no later than 4 hours before bedtime
This is important because exercising wakes the body up to its fullest potential. This can make it difficult to sleep.
Nap for 20 minutes or 90 minutes
Napping for any time in between those two times can make a person feel groggy waking up since the body is in between sleep patterns.
Too much sleep isn’t good either
According to Time magazine, getting more than 8 hours of sleep per night is the equivalent of only getting 6.5 hours a night. While they do not understand why this is exactly, people who average about 7.5-8 hours a night have a tendency to live longer than those who get 10.