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Sleep and Exercise Performance: What’s the Link?

Sleep and Exercise Performance: Just an extra hour of sleep can boost your strength and endurance. According to researchers, sleep and exercise performance are strongly connected. Skimping on sleep will result in plateaus, strength loss, poor recovery, and low energy. 

Eager to find out more? Let’s see why a good night’s sleep is so important! 

How Does Sleep Affect Exercise Performance?

It’s not usual to hear about athletes who sleep for at least nine or 10 hours per night. They know that proper rest is crucial to recovery and physical performance. Along with nutrition and training, it impacts your progress in the gym.

The quality and amount of sleep you get can make the difference between success and failure. When you’re tired, you can not perform at best. You may feel weak, fatigued, and unable to focus. 

Physical activity depletes bodily fluids, energy, and glycogen stores. It also breaks down muscle, sending your body into a catabolic state. Your cells and tissues heal while you’re sleeping. At the same time, your body produces hormones and enzymes at night. This helps build muscle size and strength, speeds up recovery, and improves overall fitness. 

Some of the world’s best athletes go to sleep early in the evening. Serena Williams, for instance, hits the sack around 7 pm. Studies show that speed increases by up to five percent in basketball players who sleep an extra two hours a night. 

The amount of sleep you get on a regular basis can affect your reaction time. Whether you are driving a car or a goalie in the hockey net, your reaction time change is life-altering.  It has been said that your reaction time will be much slower if you haven’t slept in 22 hours, then your reaction time of having 4 alcoholic beverages.

Another benefit to catching more sleep for an athlete is fewer injuries. With the extra sleep, your mind will be able to focus on the game or exercise at hand.

Your immune system and sleep are closely linked. When your immune system is compromised you’re susceptible to illness. Being ill will affect the bodies ability to regenerate cells and repair from the abuse of workouts and daily activities. Over time, health issues, and the inability to fully recover can wear on an athletic performance.

However, you don’t have to be an athlete to get more sleep. This habit can improve your progress in the gym and bring you closer to your fitness goals. 


The Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep for Gym Goers

Even moderate sleep deprivation affects motor and cognitive performance to the same extent as alcohol abuse. A good night’s rest will result in faster reaction times, enhanced mental focus, and reduced injury risk. You’ll get leaner, fitter, and stronger, and perform better at your sport of choice. 

Moreover, adequate sleep keeps your cortisol levels low. Elevated cortisol production lowers testosterone and raises insulin levels, causing a chain reaction in your body. The stress hormone has been linked to chronic fatigue, poor exercise performance, and abdominal obesity. Sleeping a few more hours can help prevent these issues, sleep and exercise performance workouts to the next level.


So how do you catch more sleep?

Get into a routine. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, Even on those days off and weekends.  Your body has an internal clock and it loves to keep a routine. 

If caffeine affects your sleep, be aware of when you are drinking your last cup of coffee in the afternoon. Try switching to a Decaf coffee or a refreshing flavored water in the evenings instead of a soda. If you’re also a person who wakes up during the night to use the washroom, you want to limit yourself to a number of beverages you have in the early evening hours.

Relaxing the body before bed is also a great technique that tells the body it is preparing for sleep. Each person may find different activities relaxing. but a few suggestions that you can try are. 

A relaxing warm bath. Soaking the day’s worries away in a warm bubble bath sounds like bliss to many women. Light a few candles and put on some soft music. Your own little oasis before bed.

Reading is another activity that people do to relax, It could be the local newspaper, a gossip magazine or a novel. Reading with a dim light also suggests to the bodies internal clock that you are preparing for sleep.

Preparing your bedroom with dim lights, comfortable mattress, and sheet sets and keep your bedroom a bit cooler will help the body sleep.




Try some of these strategies to help you get better sleep and exercise performance and let us know how you make out.



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