Sleep improves athletic performance!

New Year's resolutions: Every third German has set a goal for 2021 to do more sport. Our athletic performance is closely related to our sleep patterns. So why sleep is so important for athletes and how you can optimally combine your sporting activity and your sleep behavior in order to easily achieve your goals for 2021, we will show you here.

Table of Contents

      1. Why is sport so important to us?
      2. No power without regeneration
      3. Better performance through more sleep
      4. Poor performance due to little sleep
      5. The right balance is decisive
      6. Conclusion

      1. Why is sport so important to us?

      Our body is programmed for a life of movement. Without exercise, our skeleton, muscles and internal organs cannot get enough oxygen and nutrients. During sport, our muscles and brain work at full speed.

      › Effects of muscle activation
      • Energy production is ramped up, making energy reserves available.
      • The hormone system sends messenger substances into the body that ensure that the supply systems necessary for muscle contraction, such as cardiac output and blood flow, are activated.
      • Our cardiovascular system is activated. The heart and lungs are "trained" and continuously adapt to the training. More blood is pumped through the body and all cells are supplied with sufficient oxygen.
      • The adrenaline produced increases the heart's performance, while cortisol is used to provide energy during training.
      • More growth factors and serotonin (happy hormones) are released in the brain. The growth factors promote nerve growth, strengthen our memory and promote the performance of our brain.

      In the course of training, numerous adjustments take place in the very organs that provide, absorb and transport oxygen and nutrients. Because this is good for us and keeps us healthy, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends moderate endurance training for at least 2.5 hours per week. The whole thing should be supplemented by moderate strength training to strengthen the muscles. In this way we increase our general performance - physically and mentally!

      Important: regularity! The body adapts to the regular loads during a training session. The blood circulation improves, muscle mass is built up, the energy stores in the muscles increase and the performance increases in the long term. Regular physical activity is therefore a sensible New Year's resolution thanks to the numerous positive effects.

      2. No power without regeneration

      Leistungskurve der sportlichen Leistung im Tagesverlauf

      Our physical performance does not improve directly during the training session (here only the impulses are set), but mainly after the training in the regeneration phase. In the period after training, the body should therefore be provided with sufficient nutrients so that it can regenerate optimally and react to the impulses set. Sleep plays a central role in this. It forms the most important regeneration phase for our body, in which, among other things, growth hormones are released and the energy stores in the muscles and brain are filled.

      3. Better performance through more sleep

      Good sleep can improve sports performance! Athletes who sleep more at night and reduce their sleep deficit perform better and are in a better mood, according to a recent study by sleep researchers at Stanford University in California. The US scientists examined athletes from Stanford University's tennis team between the ages of 18 and 21. In the first three weeks, the subjects maintained their usual daily rhythm. Over the next six weeks, they increased their sleep time to 10 hours a night. The result: In the sprint test, the well-rested athletes improved by an average of 10% and the success rate of the serves in the field increased by approx. 20% But not only the athletic performance improved - the researchers also found that the daytime sleepiness of the test subjects was reduced and their mood improved significantly. These results have supported follow-up studies in other sports (swimming, athletics, basketball, etc.) ) confirmed.

      Guter Schlaf verbessert die sportliche Leistung

      Positive effects of sleep on athletic performance

      Better performance in sprint
      20% Sfaster execution of motor movements (with the same accuracy)
      42% Higher accuracy
      10% Better hit rate

          Sufficient sleep therefore has numerous positive effects on performance in sport. If you approach sport with ambition and the desire to improve your performance, you should definitely pay attention to healthy sleeping habits.

          4. Poor performance due to lack of sleep

          Those who sleep a lot and restfully can improve their performance - but what happens if we sleep too little? Lack of sleep, whether short- or long-term, has a major impact on our physical and mental state and can stand in the way of our progress and athletic success.

          Negative effects of lack of sleep on athletic performance

          Less testosterone with less than 5 hours of sleep
          5-40% Wdecreased stamina during temporary sleep deprivation
          3 x Higher susceptibility to diseases
          65% Increased risk of injury

          5. The right balance decides

          As so often, the right combination is crucial for success. Sport and sleep therefore have a healthy interrelationship: sleep promotes regeneration and athletic performance, while regular exercise in return improves sleep quality and falling asleep (herelearn more). "A good combination of sleep, exercise and a healthy diet are not only the central building blocks for physical performance, but also for health and well-being," says our sleep expert Dr. Markus Dworak.

          Regardless of whether you are a professional or a hobby athlete, if you want to improve in the long term, you should pay close attention to your own sleeping habits and give your body enough time to regenerate and adapt to stress. This not only increases your own performance and health, but also puts you in a better mood! :)

          6. Conclusion

          • Regular exercise is essential and has numerous positive effects on the health of body and mind.
          • Performance only improves during regeneration after training. The central recovery phase and therefore of great importance is sleep.
          • With more sleep, athletes improve their skills and performance, are less tired, and are in a better mood.
          • Positive effects of sleep include improvements in speed, endurance, motor skills and coordination.
          • Lack of sleep counteracts the development of athletic performance, e.g. B by reducing endurance and increasing the risk of illness and injury.
          • Sport and sleep have a special interaction, so that the right balance between training and sleep is crucial for performance.

          Greetings and see you soon!

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