How Much Sleep Does an Athlete Need?
Is This You?
The alarm clock just went off…again. It’s after 6 in the morning. I keep telling myself that I better hurry up and get out of bed or I will be late for school..again. I just can’t get going in the morning. Why does school have to start so early in the morning? If I could just get 30 more minutes of sleep…..no…. maybe an hour more I’d feel a lot better.
What time do you go to sleep each night?
What time do you wake up each morning during the school week?
How many hours of sleep do you get each night?
How many hours of sleep do you think an athlete needs?
Why Do Athletes Need Sleep?
1/3 of our life is spent sleeping….that is a lot. The simple purpose of sleep is to repair our bodies from the wear and tear we took it through the day before. Our body is an amazing and complex system that requires a lot of down time to repair and regenerate itself so it can operate at its maximum capacity the next day. Cheri Mah of the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory, published in 2009, followed the Stanford University women’s tennis team for five weeks as they attempted to get 10 hours of sleep each night. Those who increased their sleep time ran faster sprints and hit more accurate tennis shots than while getting their usual amount of sleep. Researchers speculate that deep sleep helps improve athletic performance because this is the time when growth hormone is released. Growth hormone stimulates muscle growth and repair, bone building and fat burning, and helps athletes recover. Studies show that sleep deprivation slows the release of growth hormone. Thus, making sleep as best performance booster for athletes.
_____ talking/texting/chatting with friends (ie. cell phone, facebook)
_____ watching TV
_____ surfing the internet
_____ take a short nap after I get home and cannot get back to sleep
_____ reading books/magazines
_____ other family members keep me awake