How Your Sleep Impacts Your Physical Performance
The average person sleeps over 200 000 hours in their life - that’s almost 1/3rd of your life spent sleeping.
Yet, sleep is essential for repair, restoration, and processing. In fact, scientists have compared a lack of sleep to the same impairments associated with intoxication. If you just pulled an all-nighter, you might as well have just tipped back a few glasses of alcohol.
The average adult needs about 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Without it, you risk a decline in not just your cognitive functioning - but also in your physical performance.
So, how exactly does sleep deprivation impact your physical performance?
Let’s take a look
1. You Have Reduced Reaction Times
If you play a sport where reaction times are critical - such as soccer, hockey, or football - not getting enough sleep can reduce your reaction times by up to 300%. In other words, you are 3x slower than your norm. You can’t react as quickly to that ball or puck coming toward you. And you might end up making bad plays - or missing plays altogether.
2. You Might Get Injured
When you’re tired, you lack the proper arousal level and alertness to full grasp what is going on around you. Further, without the right amount of sleep, your body hasn’t had the necessary time to recover and repair from previous workouts or activities.
Your immune system also becomes suppressed. In turn, you are more susceptible to injury and even illness.
3. You Lack Coordination
Sleep is necessary for the brain to process and recall body movements. Even if you’ve been practicing a skill, a lack of sleep can completely derail your efforts. You won’t be able to properly recall from your memories what you’ve practiced. The result? You aren’t able to perform the skill or movement as well.
4. You Risk a Slower Recovery
As aforementioned, sleep is critical for repair and restoration in the body. But if you are running on empty and haven’t given your body a chance to recover with the proper amount of sleep, you likely won’t recover well after this bout of exercise either. If you didn’t get a quality sleep the night before, it might be best to sit this exercise session out. Listen to your body. Come back to your workout plan when you’re well-rested.
Evidently, sleep is important for reaching your physical fitness goals. Make sure you get 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.
Lastly, here are a few tips to help you optimize your sleep. A better sleep = a better you
Eliminate the use of technology and bright lights 1-2 hours before bed. Consider reading or partaking in another quiet and relaxing activity instead.
Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning.
Avoid caffeine after 2 pm.
Don’t take naps during the day.
Sleep in a quiet, comfortable, and dark space.
Set your bedroom temperature between 15-19 degrees celsius. This way you won’t get too hot or too cold - which could potentially disrupt your sleep.
Exercise regularly. Most national health departments recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week.
Start getting a better sleep tonight. Then, join us at 1621 club for your next workout.
If you’re still having difficulty sleeping, consider contacting your doctor. There may be a medical reason why you aren’t getting a quality sleep. They can help you determine the cause and get you back on track.