Contrary to popular belief, sportsmen and women can’t rely upon getting fitter or being more focused by training and doing lots of workouts.
That merely builds muscle and develops stamina, it will also likely stimulate them to withstand the rigidity of their endeavours, like football matches, long days in the field at cricket or athletics etc. However, it’s during the long moments when they’re having an adequate period of restful and relaxing sleeping; that’s when their brains and bodies adapt and allow for the recovery from the stresses – thus enabling them to be stronger and faster.
Sports people, because of the tension and fatigue they endure, are also more prone to illnesses. Consequently, they need to boost their immune system, and how do they do that? Yes, it is naturally replenished during sleep.
Sleep also rejuvenates the human growth hormone (HGH). These are the hormones responsible for the repair and regrowth of muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Optimum brain function is also important especially during an intense game or other more focused endeavours. Again, sleep refills the nervous system’s neurotransmitters, the chemicals that send signals to the brain.
Boosting Peak Performance through Sleep Science
The power of sleep science is now being regularly utilised, especially at the higher levels of professionalism in sports. Sports scientists are exploiting more recent technological advances in lots of areas, for instance, to aid in the recovery of injured players.
The Australian Football League (AFL) among other clubs have been using innovative sports technology, dedicated to the application of sleep science. We assume the West Coast Eagles are well ahead in this, as 10 years ago, they were already ensuring each new rookie was equipped with an appropriate new mattress. (Was that a factor in the 2018 Grand Final Victory?)
Sleep is the new frontier of sports science. Football teams in Europe are employing the services of “sleep coaches” to aid their players to doze off better. Sport and fitness journalist, Mark Bailey, highlighted the underrated benefits of sleep as a performance enhancer. He asserted, “Despite the boom in sports science services designed to improve every component of an athlete’s life, from nutrition and hydration to psychological well-being and physical conditioning, sleep is a subject which has often been neglected.”
Invest on Improving Your Sleep Habits
The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry stated that, “Sleep is crucial for psychological functioning and daily performance.” This is why we see more and more footballers and athletes, for that matter, investing heavily on sleeping tools such as sleeping pods, personal mattresses, snoozeboxes, and other sleeping kits which the players can use to snooze on between games and training sessions. They even bank on mobile apps that can help with their sleeping.
There is also this new technology called “light therapy” that is believed to regulate sleep patterns of people. Sport scientist, Dr. Craig Duncan used this technique to help the “Socceroos,” Australia’s national football team, in maintaining good sleeping activity and combating jet lag.
Play Hard, Work Out Hard, but Sleep HARDER
There are many scientific studies that detail how sleep enables athletes to attain their peak performance, how it assists quick recovery from injuries and illness, and how it helps prevent from getting them in the first place. It is quite complex to explain each and every detail.
To cut a long story short, the human body needs to recover, regrow, and repair itself through sleep. Since football players (and athletes in general) are exposed to various body strains and tensions, they certainly need more sleep than anybody else.
In the end, if you’re abusing your body and brain by overdoing things and reducing your normal hours of sleep, perhaps thinking you can gain more by being “productive,” you’re wrong — this will eventually lead to a negative effect.
So, ditch any drug enhancements, train to the max, allow for a refreshing sleep, live a healthy lifestyle, and head for the grand final.