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Get Your Sleep, Athletes!

By Donna Stark

If you are an athlete and would like to improve your physical performance, you may think that longer hours at the gym are what you need. And although there may be some truth to that, it's important to not overlook other things as well. You already know that sleep is vital to your overall health and wellness, but did you know it is especially important when it comes to your body's ability to perform on the field, court, track, or course? That's right, your physical performance is more dependent on a good night's rest than you may think!

Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep has a profound effect on every aspect of your life, but especially so when you need to push your body to its limits. It's been shown that physical performance can be improved when restorative sleep is combined with proper amounts of daily exercise and a healthy diet. Take a look at how sleep deprivation can affect athletic performance.

  • Decreases energy and slows down movements
  • Impairs accuracy and decision making 
  • Causes weakness and quicker exhaustion
  • Decreases reaction times
  • Increases risk for injury and illness
  • Inhibits muscle recovery

Getting Your Sleep

As with everything else in this world, there is time to perform and a time to rest. You can do only so much without adequate sleep, so make sure you are prioritizing it every day of your life. One way you can do this is with the right mattress. A quality mattress that supports your body will reduce the stress, tension, and pain that builds up after intense training sessions and games. It will also help to increase blood flow and promote maximum recovery in the body.

Another way to prioritize rest is to design a bedroom that is conducive to quality sleep. Make sure your room is dark, quiet, and cool. Remove all electronic devices, or at the very least, turn them off an hour before bedtime. If outside noises are a problem, invest in a white noise machine. Your goal is to get the recommended amount of rest each night, so it may be helpful if you stick to a consistent sleep schedule too. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.

Being the Best You Can Be

To excel at being an athlete, you need to keep your body as healthy as possible, and that requires a lot more than training and diet. You have to get quality sleep too! So, follow the suggestions above, and then get ready for peak performances during your games!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fredericksburg, Va.

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