How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Athletes – Elite athletes don’t only need proper nutrition, discipline, and guidance to better prepare them for their respective sports. Their athletic performance also dramatically depends on adequate recovery time from the hellish training they subject their bodies. Massage, acupuncture, and meditation are all great alternative methods for fast recovery. However, there is nothing more critical and hugely beneficial to professional athletes than a good night’s sleep.

How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Athletes
Benefits Of Good Sleep To Athletes
How Much Sleep Do Athletes Need
How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Athletes
What Is Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment

How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Athletes
How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Athletes?

How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Athletes

Sleep and performance directly affect each other. In fact, sleep quality can dictate a person’s athletic performance. When student athletes maintain good sleep habits, they function and progress better in their sports performance. Their athletic training also helps them fall asleep faster and improve their overall quality sleep. That is because physical performance establishes a physiological change in the body by boosting up the circadian rhythm and stabilizing your sleep-wake cycles.

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Benefits Of Good Sleep To Athletes

Benefits of good sleep to athletes go beyond recovery. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a night’s sleep can bolster reaction time and performance among the athletic. It also speeds up the time it takes for strength, muscle, and endurance to improve. That is because, during REM sleep, the Hippocampus transfers all previously learned information to the neocortex for muscle recall. That includes muscle movements, physical abilities, and visual information.

When an athlete is sleep deprived every night, sleep deficit and debt can accumulate. Partial sleep deprivation can already negatively influence reaction times, concentration, and recovery. When lack of sleep becomes a regular thing at night, the body becomes unable to rehabilitate itself and improve its performance.

How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Athletes
Benefits Of Good Sleep To Athletes
How Much Sleep Do Athletes Need
How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Athletes
What Is Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment

How Much Sleep Do Athletes Need

Everybody knows the importance of sleep per night to psychical performance, but not everyone is aware of how much sleep time they need. The hours of sleep a person needs vary from one individual to another. Age, gender, health status, daily activities, and performance are all important factors to consider. For instance, people who have underlying sleep disorders, low reaction time, health problems, and glucose metabolism issues need more hours of sleep than a normal person.

In general, studies show young people need at least seven to eight hours of sleep duration every night for the best physical and mental performance. However, when that person goes through athletic training, he or she will need more extra sleep. It is because the more they engage in strenuous physical activities; the more stress their body experiences. As a result, the body will need more night’s rest for athletic recovery.

Sleep for athletes averages from seven to nine hours per night. When athletic training becomes arduous, night’s rest should also be increased to give their bodies enough time to recoup. To ensure optimal performance in their respective athletic fields, adult athletes need at least 10 hours of sleep every night. Young athletes, on the other, should target at least 9 hours of sleep every night to avoid the adverse effects of sleep deprivation on their sprint times.

How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Athletes
Benefits Of Good Sleep To Athletes
How Much Sleep Do Athletes Need
How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Athletes
What Is Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment

How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Athletes

Chronic sleep deprivation does impact not only a person’s athletic performance but also the mental and emotional stability. Poor sleep can interfere with an athlete’s positive thinking, a factor that is crucial to their positive attitude towards success. Insufficient sleep can also cause them to become more irritable and suffer mood swings. Since a nightcap of at least seven hours can help a person work out longer and more efficiently the next day, sleep loss can unquestionably hamper not only hand-eye coordination but overall physical and mental performance.

Sleep apnea, a condition that stems from underlying health issues and sleep deprivation, can also happen to athletes who are sleep deprived. Sleep apnea causes chronic sleep deprivation, and sleep deprivation, in turn, can hinder the production of energy sources such as carbohydrates and glycogen. These sources are important for athletes that go through long hours of high-intensity training. If natural energy in the body is bankrupt, athletes will have no choice but to rely on supplements which cause bad effects on growth hormone over time.

However, athletic performance can also do well to your sleep patterns more than you know. According to studies, people who exercise on a daily basis report having better REM sleep every night. Even people who live a sedentary life report to have a noticeable improvement on their daytime sleepiness when they spared time for a 10-minute exercise every night. Aside from improving athletic performance and reaction time, staying active through training can reduce the risks of getting Restless Leg Syndrome or RLS.

How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Athletes
Benefits Of Good Sleep To Athletes
How Much Sleep Do Athletes Need
How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Athletes
What Is Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment

What Is Restless Leg Syndrome
What Is Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a disorder wherein a person experiences uncomfortable spasms every time they go to bed. It can either result from already existing physical and mental problems or as a negative effect of prescription drugs. Since RLS can lead to insomnia or lack of sleep, it is considered a sleep disorder.

People can develop RLS because of many factors. The brain’s production of dopamine can trigger its advancement. Too much dopamine can magnify the symptoms of RLS. Iron deficiency can also be a culprit and can further hamper any restless leg syndrome treatment. According to studies, eighty percent of children with RLS have low iron. Genetics also play a role in its development.

How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Athletes
Benefits Of Good Sleep To Athletes
How Much Sleep Do Athletes Need
How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Athletes
What Is Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment

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Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment
Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment

Restless leg syndrome treatment is key to stop RLS from developing into a severe case. Medications such as dopaminergic drugs and vitamin supplements for iron and vitamin C, D, and E deficiencies are two of the most common remedies. However, if you want to opt for alternative treatments, these home remedies below can help.

Foot Wrap

Foot wrap or restiffic is proven to provide relief to RLS patients. It eliminates RLS symptoms by helping the strained muscles that cause the spasms to relax. Although available by prescription only, the foot wrap or restiffic is a good investment not only for your RLS but better quality sleep.

Yoga

It’s not entirely clear how yoga can diminish RLS symptoms, but various studies back its performance among sleep-deprived patients. Stretching can create a reaction to the muscles that are affected by RLS. It can also reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, thus, improving sleep time.

Good sleep habits

Maintaining good sleep habits do benefit not only your athletic performance but also reduce the risks of developing RLS. Go to sleep every night at the same time, create a good sleep environment, and avoiding blue light two to three hours before going to bed can significantly improve your sleep patterns.

How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Athletes
Benefits Of Good Sleep To Athletes
How Much Sleep Do Athletes Need
How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Athletes
What Is Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment

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Comprehensive easy to understand sleep health guides – see here

How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Athletes Resources;
The Journal Of Pediatric Orthopedics; Chronic Lack of Sleep is Associated With Increased Sports Injuries in Adolescent Athletes
Milewski, Matthew D. MD, Skaggs, David L. MD, MMM, Bishop, Gregory A. MS, Pace, J. Lee MD, Ibrahim, David A. MD, Wren, Tishya A.L. PhD, Barzdukas, Audrius MEd, March 2014.

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