You’ve heard people say it’s important. That you need 8-10 hours per night. That without it you can’t function. But is there any real evidence to support everyone’s advice.
We’ve all heard, ‘Performance will suffer’. Recent studies have suggested that poor sleep is related to slower reaction times, compromised physical performance, increased risk of illness and injury, lower mood and decreased ability to learn and remember new skills. Poor sleep has been reported in elite athletes in numerous sports such as swimming, rugby, cricket, ice hockey and track and field. This is thought to be related to training times, competition stress/anxiety, muscle soreness, caffeine use, technology and travel. We found almost half (47.8 per cent) of GAA players monitored in a current study were poor sleepers, and those who were poor sleepers had significantly lower general health, increased stress and lower mood.
Recent studies have found that: In a study of sleep interventions on athletes, sleep extension proved most beneficial to athletes. (1) Bonnar et al 2018. Another study claimed that increased sleep time improved sustained contraction time to exhaustions (2) Arnal et al. Meanwhile, Inadequate sleep impairs maximal muscle strength in compound movements when performed without specific interventions designed to increase motivation. (3) Knowles et al
2. Weight management
Short sleep duration and other aspects of poor sleep habits are growing in prevalence in modern society in both children and adults. A growing literature has established that short sleep duration and other dimensions of poor sleep are associated with obesity and appear to predict obesity risk and rate of weight gain longitudinally. Small experimental studies suggest poor sleep may impact dietary intake particularly hedonic eating. (4) Ogilvie et al
3. General Health
A recent study showed that insufficient sleep and sleep disorders are highly prevalent and are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Primary outcomes of insufficient sleep and/or sleep disorders are weight gain and obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, accidents and injuries, stress, pain, neurocognitive dysfunction, psychiatric symptoms, and mortality.
(5)Grandner et al 2018
So get your Zzzs……..
1. Sleep interventions designed to improve athletic performance and recovery; a systematic review of current approaches
2. Sleep Extension before Sleep Loss: Effects on Performance and Neuromuscular Function.
3. Inadequate sleep and muscle strength: Implications for resistance training.
4. The Epidemiology of Sleep and Obesity
5. Sleep, Health, and Society