To perform well in the gym or in sport, not only a healthy diet and long hours of training are necessary, but also daily rest plays a fundamental role. Next, we’ll explain the importance of restful sleep in sports performance and how to reap the full benefits of physical activity.
Usually, novice athletes and athletes focus only on training and nutrition, forgetting about the great role that rest plays for their physical and mental well-being. However, sleep quality can be affected for many reasons as well prevent proper recovery and regeneration of the body.
Why is restful sleep necessary for athletes?
Sleep is a vital and indispensable component of human health and well-being. As it not only has a significant impact on muscle growth and emotional regulation, but also on cognitive performance and quality of life.
During sleep, the body produces hormones and biomolecules that are important for recovery, such as growth hormone, testosterone and ATP (the main energy source used by muscles during exercise). Daily rest also helps regulate the immune system, repair damaged tissue, and reduce stress and fatigue; thing in turn improves concentration, memory and decision making.
Because of the above, when it comes to sports performance, restful sleep is more relevant than many athletes realize. This is because multiple Education report that, in addition to being an integral part of the recovery process and sports adaptation, a better quality and duration of sleep It is associated with optimal performance and competitive success.
Likewise, some research have suggested that getting less than 7 hours of sleep puts athletes at greater risk for injury and illness. Understanding therefore the importance of daily rest not only for athletes, but for human beings in general, is essential in order not to leave it in the background and take care of physical and mental health after training.
Factors that can influence the quality of sleep
There are several reasons that can negatively impact the quality of sleep in athletes. Learning to recognize them and implementing strategies to avoid them will make a big difference in athletes’ performance and improve their fitness.
Here are some of the most relevant:
1. Lifestyle of the athlete
Athletes who work irregular schedules, travel frequently, use recreational drugs, or have high stress levels may have difficulty falling asleep or maintaining a consistent rest pattern.
It’s important to implement plans and routines, not only to ensure good training and nutrition, but restful sleep as well. As well as avoiding harmful substances that can affect normal sleep cycles (such as caffeine, alcohol and marijuana).
2. Inadequate sleeping environment
Where you rest has a direct impact on the quality of your sleep. Why It is not the same to sleep in a clean, ventilated and dimly lit room, than in a dirty, noisy bedroom with an inadequate mattress and pillow.
It is best to snooze in a room where there are no sudden, loud sounds that could wake the sleeper up or stop them from falling asleep in the first place. Avoid rooms that are too bright or hot as they can interfere with melatonin production. And, in turn, choose a pocket sprung mattress which is not too soft or hard for you to sleep comfortably and prevent back or neck pain.
3. Poor nutrition
Diet can also affect your ability to get restful sleep. Athletes who consume foods high in caffeine or sugar may have difficulty falling asleep or maintaining deep rest. On the other hand, a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals can improve sleep quality.
The most advisable thing is to consume foods rich in tryptophans or carbohydrates, such as chicken, fish, cheese, potatoes and egg whites. Similarly, meals high in fat should be avoided before bedtime, because they can reduce the number of hours of sleep.
4. Training and competition environment
Where you train and compete in sports can affect the quality of your sleep. For example, people who exercise in noisy or dimly lit environments often have trouble sleeping. Also, exercise at night it can disrupt the athlete’s normal sleep pattern.
5. Injuries and respiratory problems
When an athlete suffers a serious injury, they may experience nighttime aches that prevent restful sleep. In these cases, the use can be made with the approval of a doctor supplements containing melatonin or magnesium to facilitate rest.
On the other hand, when you suffer from allergies and breathing problems, such as sleep apnea, it can be very difficult to fall asleep. It is best to seek professional medical assistance to find a timely solution.
6. Psychological factors
Stress, anxiety and depression can affect the quality of your daily rest. Athletes experiencing these emotional states should seek psychological help to improve their emotional well-being and potency. maintain sound sleep without having a knot in your head.
Restful sleep and sports performance are closely linked
Daily rest is a fundamental aspect for athletes’ sports performance. And is that lack of sleep can negatively affect coordination, speed, strength and precision of movements, as well as increase the risk of injury.
So, to avoid these disadvantages, athletes should pay particular attention to factors that can affect sleep quality, such as the training schedule, the environment in which they sleep, the consumption of substances that affect sleep, among others.
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