Pay Off Your Sleep Debt

In 2002, Stanford University conducted a sleep study on undergraduates to determine how sleep affects academic performance. At the same time, many of the school's swimmers were setting personal best times.
The connection?
The athletes on the school's swim team who were setting PR's were all involved in the academic sleep study.
Intrigued by the athletic impact, lead researcher Cheri Mah then turned her attention towards the mens' basketball team. She asked the players to sleep 10 hours per night for the next 5-7 weeks.
At the beginning and end of the study, players were tested in speed, free throw percentage, 3 point shooting percentage, and conditioning.
The research showed the team made significant gains - a 9% increase in free throw and 3 point shooting, for example. They improved dramatically in the speed and conditioning tests, along with a renewed enthusiasm to practice at a high level.
So what does this have to do with you?
For starters, there is a proven link between getting enough sleep and improved athletic performance.
In addition, there was another key finding regarding catching up on lost sleep from previous nights.
By sleeping beyond your required nightly amount, you can 're-pay' up to 50 hours of lost sleep to increase both your mental and physical performance levels.
The research also shows that you cannot 'bank' sleep to prevent future fatigue, it only works for past hours of lost sleep.
For athletes on school vacation right now, this upcoming week is an opportune time to pay back any sleep debts that may have accumulated over the last month or so.
Although you may feel a bit groggy at the beginning of the payback period, you'll function much better as you get closer to getting it all paid off.
Ideally, then you would make sure to average a bare minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night. Actual needs vary from person to person, however athletes under age 24 typically need at least 9 hours of sleep per night.
Between busy academic, athletic and work schedules it certainly can be hard to keep up on your sleep needs. For those that do, there are many powerful benefits to meeting your sleep needs that you may not have realized.
Here are 4 more findings that stress the power of sleep on health and athletic success:
1) A study was conducted on the sleep habits of 80 Major League Baseball players. Players were split into 3 groups - the top 1/3 had solid sleep habits, the middle 1/3 had poor sleep habits, and the bottom 1/3 had severe sleep deficits.
Of the top 1/3 of participants with the best sleep habits, 72% were still in the majors 3 years later.
The bottom 1/3?
Only 14% were still playing.
2) A 2001 study at US Military academies showed that the grade point averages for cadets improved by 11% annually when policies were adjusted to allow for 8 hours of sleep per night, compared to 6 hours the year before.
3) Those who get less than 5 hours of sleep on average are more than twice as likely to catch a cold as those who sleep 7 hours or more per night.
4) Athletes who average less than 6 hours of sleep per night are nearly twice as likely to get injured as those who get 8 hours or more.
Training and nutrition are critical to success, we talk about these things all the time. However, your sleep habits may actually have an even greater impact on your future success than either of those other two.

Build Your Skills One Step At A Time

Request information

Request Information Now!

Personal Training near Leominster

Let us e-mail you this Free Report