Sleep Your Way To A Gold Medal

Sleep Your Way To A Gold Medal

With the long awaited 2016 Summer Olympics finally underway, so much is put into consideration when selecting venues as a bad location can be detrimental to the performance of athletes. Athletes have had to find ways to optimise their performance levels and overcome environmental obstacles to win.

Athletes and Sleep

Body stature and innate physical ability play a major role in a great athletic performance. Athletes are exposed to excellent training facilities, coaching, precise nutrition and physical conditioning. But sleep can make a significant difference on the day. A recent study found that athletes don't sleep well as they have an increased rate of obstructive sleep apnea; especially those with a high BMI. Jet lag can also cause issues with getting enough sleep. How does it affect an athlete's performance?

Effects of Inadequate Sleep

Inadequate sleep can cause:

  • Impaired focus, judgment and coordination.

  • Slower reaction time.

  • Increased risk of injury.

  • Slower physical functioning and overall performance.

It has been proven that more sleep results in better and improved performance among athletes. “Sleep for Optimum Health” should be the motto for athletes. In a study carried out over multiple disciplines, a 30-minute nap improved sprint times after a night of sleep deprivation.

The benefits of sleep extension, even by an hour, can be the difference between winning and losing. Some teams have even started adding sleep consultants to their payrolls.

Gold Medal winner Adam Peaty was reported to say “I'll probably wake up late at about 11am, recover my mind and recover my body and stay chilled.” The 21 year old broke his own world record and won a Gold medal in the final.

In the end, the effects sleep deprivation has on a driver trying to get home safely is the same effects experienced by an athlete trying to clinch the gold.

For Rio 2016, sleep equals success.

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