Sleep: How It Can Decrease Injury and Improve Performance

Sleep plays a crucial part in all elite athletes’ preparation for sport and even more in their recovery from matches and injuries.

Also, sport requires high levels of motor learning, skill acquisition, strategy and decision making, and sleeping can influence one’s performance as it helps in the learning of new skills and memory.

To optimize sleeping patterns, here are some simple strategies :

1. The optimal sleep duration is 7-9 per night. If you are getting less than 7 hours, consider taking naps during the day

2. Sleep in a cool (but not cold) and dark room as light has an inverse relationship with the sleep hormone melatonin

3. Artificial lighting negatively affects sleep therefore avoid the use of all electronic or personal devices in the bedroom

4. Limit technology use 1 hour before bed as it doesn’t allow you to “switch-off” prior to sleeping

5. Caffeine inhibits melatonin secretion and thus affects sleep behaviour. Reduce intake after lunch and minimise alcohol at night

For more information, read the full article here.

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