How Important Is Sleep For Athletes?

Because of the active lifestyle of athletes, sleep is essential for proper body recovery. Read this guide to find useful tips on improving sleep in athletes.

Written by:


, Sleep Researcher
Last Updated: Thu, October 3, 2019
Fact checked by:

Marko Jevtic

, Sleep Specialist

Being an athlete requires a lot of commitment, dedication, hard work and sacrificing since day one. Most professional athletes work on their careers since their childhood or teenage days, which means that their mindset and lifestyle are fully committed to their athletic goals.

Athletes usually have to follow a specific diet, to workout daily either in the gym or at training, they are often on the road because traveling is also a part of their career, so it seems that they have a pretty busy schedule with little or no free time. We often hear that athletes go to a so-called quarantine a few days before their big game or competition, and since they are infamous for partying (too) hard sometimes, this quarantine period is created to help them focus and be fully prepared and well-rested for their game.

Life of an athlete is structured in a way that they need to follow strict regimes and a healthy lifestyle which implies maintaining sleep hygiene. Sleep is essential for all of us, but for athletes especially, because they are so active and burn a lot of energy, they need extra calories and also more sleep in order to maintain their top form. Recently a lot of athletes has confessed how important is sleep for their results and success, but those statements are always a bit underestimated as we consider sleeping as our daily need, and not as our potential secret weapon. So, how much sleep do athletes need? Well, you might be surprised to hear that some pro athletes sleep 12 hours a day, they don’t do it because they are lazy or spoiled, but simply because they require more sleep.

Some studies have even shown that excess sleep can only enhance their performance. Sleep gives them a much needed energy boost and regulates their mental and physical condition which will result in better coordination and faster and more intense reactions. In today’s post, we are going to see how sleep affects athletic performance and list some useful sleeping tips for those who are struggling with establishing a healthy sleep routine.


Effects of Sleep on Athletic Performance

Sleeping is one thing that athletes should never underestimate, and it does not matter in how much of a good shape are they, if they did not get enough rest last night, their performance is going to be below expected. So let’s see what the main benefits of sleep for athletes are.


Sleep Tips For Athletes

Just as they are committed to their training, athletes need to be committed to their sleep routine. Life of an athlete can be filled with events, travels, parties, and stress which are all obstacles that hinder their much needed healthy sleep routine. That is why we have a few tips for them to stick through and stay focused.


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She would be a morning person if mornings started at noon. Art historian, taurus, coffee lover, traveler, F1 fan who hates to drive, and well experienced insomniac with one life goal, to sleep like a coala for up to 20 hours per day.

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