QUOTE 18, SEPTEMBER 2016
Recovery and Sleep play a big role in the competitive world of pro sports. I considered it so important that I specifically employed a full time specialist in my Sports Science team at the LTA. It is great to see that many professional teams are now employing sleep specialists. Remember it is the little differences that make the BIG difference. Many studies have shown that increasing sleep greatly improves on field performances. No matter what your profession, we can all benefit from making sleep a fundamental part of our game plan.
Sleep deprivation has been shown to be associated with increased levels of confusion, hostility, anger and depression as well as slowed reaction times. These changes can have truly wide-ranging effects on how we function in daily life, affecting our judgment and decision-making, putting strain on relationships at work and at home, and putting us at greater risk for accident or injury.
Here are a few facts from sleep research studies
- With 7 hours sleep, our brain operates with 98% accuracy.
- With 6 hours, it is reduced to 50% accuracy
- Lack of sleep affects your mood, memory and ability to concentrate.
- Sleep deprived drivers cause more accidents than drunk drivers.
- If you suffer from sleep apnea, your potential for getting Alzheimer’s is tripled. Be sure to get tested as most people are unaware they have sleep apnea.
- Chronic sleep can lead to a 30-40% reduction in glucose metabolism.
- Tennis players get a 42% boost in hitting accuracy during depth drills.
- Sleep improves decision making ability by 4.3%
- 2 days of sleep restriction can lead to 3x increase in lapses of attention and reactivity.
- Maximum bench press drops 20 pounds after 4 days of restricted sleep.
- Sleep extension provides swimmers a 17% improvement in reaction time off the starting block.
- A 20 minute power nap improves alertness by 100%
Professional athletes have been napping for years, the Spanish, Italians and Greeks for centuries and in present day China, office and factory workers routinely lie down for naps. Taking a power nap will lift your productivity and your mood, lower your stress, stimulate your brain and improve memory and learning.
And a few quotes from some sporting stars themselves
If I don’t sleep, 11-12 hours a day, it’s not right.
Professional Tennis Player, Winner of 17 Grand Slam titles
Sleep is half my training.
Professional Triathlete and 2009 Duathlon World Champion
Eat, sleep and swim, that’s all I can do.
Most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 medals, including 23 Gold Meals
A well rested body is a healthier, more efficient, more capable one. This could be the hardest thing to accomplish on my to-do-list, but it always makes a difference.
Kerri Walsh Jennings
Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Beach Volleyball, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics and Bronze Medal in 2016
Sleep allows your body to rest, recover and renew itself in a far more effective way than any other de-stressor. If you aren’t well rested, you simply cannot perform at your best, so never compromise your sleep so you can stay sharp, focused and energised. Sleep is for Champions, so you can be Extraordinary!