Impaired sleep has been associated with increased trauma figures during athletic contests. A University of California research concluded that trauma levels in young athletes raised during games that followed a night of sleep less than 6 hours. A different study examining injury levels in high school athletes discovered that sleep times were the principal forecaster of traumas, even more so than hours of training.
""Keep your head up!"" is a common moto of coaches in youth sports for good reason. Specifically in high-impact and busy sports, it is essential for contestants to scan their environments and foresee probable accidents. When an athlete is tired as a result of poor sleep, they're slower to respond. A hindered reaction time could be the difference between a participant getting a injured or preparing for an impact.
When it comes to sleep recovery, short sleep phases also tend not to provide the body with enough time to restore cells and repair from the damage of exercises, sports, and daily activities. This implies that not only can sleep deprivation take players off of the match through traumas, but it can also keep them out longer because of reduced recovery. With time, sports injuries, health complications, and the inability to completely recover can negatively affect an athlete and lead to more time wasted the sidelines.
Accuracy and Speed
Sleep quality has been proven to affect both the shooting accuracy and sprint times of basketball players. Improved sleep has also seen boosts to athletic effectiveness in tennis players, swimmers, weightlifters, and more.
Cheri Mah, a researcher at Stanford university, carried out a sleep-extension study with the Stanford men's basketball team. After preserving a normal sleep routine for 4 weeks to build a baseline, players from the team underwent a 7-week sleep extension period. Over this time, the players acquired as much nighttime sleep as possible, with 10 hours being the goal.
Research studies have demonstrated that even insignificant fatigue can reduce reaction times as much or more than being legally intoxicated. Sleep deprivation has an effect similar to intoxication by alcohol, which for athletes can have a major effect on their performance.
A world-class athlete can not spare even a split second to react to a play unraveling in front of them. While it's common sense for the athlete to remain sober on the field, a poorly rested one, clean from liquor, could still be similarly impaired. A single all-nighter can slash reaction times by more than 300%, and the sleep recovery can take up to several days.
A research of Major League Baseball players revealed that exhaustion can reduce the playing careers (and thus income) of world-class. The research followed 80 baseball players across three teams and after three seasons recorded athletes who either were demoted to a lower league, went unsigned, or who were no longer playing, as idle.
The principal investigator of the study, W. Christopher Winter, MD, medical director of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center in Charlottesville, stated that those performing the study were stunned by how linear the relation was. Winter indicated that, from a sports viewpoint, this is exceptionally important. What this study shows is that we can use the science of sleep to forecast sports performance.
The significance of sleep to athletic efficiency can't be overemphasized. Sleep quality can predict how fast an athlete will respond, how quickly they'll act, how precise they'll be, the number of errors they'll make, and if they do make an error, whether they'll stay clear of an injury. In addition to physical and mental conditioning, proper nutrition and hydration, sleep should be a regular part of any elite athlete's preparation.