Extra Sleep Could Improve Athletic Performance

Extra Sleep Could Improve Athletic Performance

Elite athletes can’t spare even fractions of a second to react to a play unfolding in front of them. Sleep deprivation is known to reduce reaction times significantly. Even a single all-nighter can reduce reaction times by more than 300%, not to mention recovering takes several days. Studies have shown even a surprisingly low level of fatigue can impair reaction times as much, if not more, than being legally drunk. It’s surprising to hear that being awake for 22 hours straight can slow your reaction time more than four drinks can. Clearly, there are physiological differences between being intoxicated and being fatigued; however, if an athlete wouldn’t reasonably expect to have peak reaction times after putting back four beers, they can’t expect to perform their best on less than a full night’s sleep either.

Key Points:

  • 1Athletes who extended their sleep to 10 hours each night experienced improved performance and mood, according to a study presented at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.
  • 2Researchers at Stanford University asked five healthy students on the Stanford women’s tennis team to maintain their normal sleep/wake cycle for two to three weeks, then extend their sleep for five to six weeks.
  • 3The students underwent athletic performance assessments after every practice, and researchers discovered that with extra sleep the students executed a faster sprinting drill and experienced increased hitting accuracy.


University asked five healthy students on the Stanford women’s tennis team to maintain their normal sleep/wake cycle for two to three weeks, then extend their sleep for five to six weeks. The students underwent athletic performance assessments after every practice, and researchers discovered that with extra sleep the students executed a faster sprinting drill and experienced increased hitting accuracy.

Read the full article at: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/extra-sleep-could-improve-athletic-performance

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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