The Impact of Sleep on Athletic Performance

Centre For Sleep

It goes beyond not getting enough sleep: often rest is disturbed, resulting in poor quality sleep. The number one concern is that all levels of athletes are exposed to chronic sleep debt, especially those who are waking up early to get to the gym or to train before the rest of their busy day.

Boost Results With Proper Rest 

Sleep is a physiological state during which cognitive processing and memory recover, regenerate and consolidate. These are obviously critical factors that are fundamental to athletic performance. Equally important is acknowledgment that sleep is the state where critical metabolic functions occur that regulate energy metabolism and tissue recovery.

The goal of any training regimen is to determine how to challenge the athlete’s body to break down tissues that will be rebuilt stronger without overtraining the athlete; this is why recovery plays such a vital role in training; it provides the athlete with the appropriate balance of work, rest and sleep to maximize workouts.

Training routines have become more sophisticated and should consider peak volumes, intensities and durations followed by an easing of workouts leading up to competition. But these strategies can fail if recovery time is not imbedded into the training schedule.

Sleep & Training: What Can You Do? 

Figure out how much sleep you need each night, multiply the hours per night by seven nights a week and get as close to that total per week as possible.

Learn to nap. Also, sleep in on weekends to help the body replenish itself if your total sleep numbers are below that optimal target.

Never train hard on a sleep-deprived body. If you are down on your sleep, modify the intensity, duration and volume of training until you are back to baseline.

Sleep environment is critical to the quality of your sleep. Use a comfy and supportive mattress, and ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and set at a comfortable temperature for sleep.

Do not use sleep medication, including over the counter sleep aids, without medical advice. These drugs may be masking a real sleep problem that can be treated without medication.

If you have disturbed sleep or difficulty sleeping, get help. See your doctor or visit an accredited sleep centre for an evaluation and treatment. Visit

Centre for Sleep and Human Performance

Suite 106, 51 Sunpark Drive SE, Calgary, Alberta, T2X 3V4
403 254 6663 ext 1


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