Sleep Like a Champion: How Getting More Sleep Gives You a Competitive Edge

We wrote a while back about Northwestern University’s attempt to improve the performance of their football players with sleep monitoring. Though it didn’t work out for Northwestern’s football season (5-7 record, and they lost to the Huskers 24-27), that doesn’t mean that sleep can’t help you compete better. In fact, sleep deprivation can negatively impact your performance while extended sleep can improve your performance.

Sleep Deprivation and Strength

According to studies with weightlifters, sleep deprivation can impact your performance. In a study of the effects of sleep deprivation on 8 male weightlifters, it was found that a reduced sleep budget (three hours a night for three nights), resulted in a significant reduction in maximal bench press, leg press, and dead lift, but not for biceps curl. Submaximal lifting was reduced for all tasks tested. Performance began to decline on the second day.

In addition, other aspects relevant to competition, such as increased confusion, decreased vigor, and increased fatigue were seen with diminished sleep.

In a different study, however, it was found that 24 hours of sleep loss did not impact weightlifting performance. This reminds us that chronic sleep loss is likely more of a danger than one or two acute incidents.

Supersleep for Superhuman Performance

From a complementary set of research, it was found that extending sleep could actually improve athletes’ performance. For this study, Stanford University’s basketball team was encouraged to extend their sleep schedule by spending a minimum of 10 hours in bed a night. The players spent nearly two hours more sleeping.

Athletes ran faster, shaving a half-second off their timed sprint, and shot better, an average of 9% better on free throws and 3-point shots.

They also reported increased vigor, decreased fatigue, and better moods.

Champion Caliber Sleep for Everyone

For many of us, it’s hard to schedule in the time to get enough sleep, and for even more it’s hard to get quality sleep once we’re in bed.

If you are waking up fatigued no matter how much time you spend in bed, or if you have noticed decreased performance, aptitude, or desire, then you may be suffering from sleep apnea or another sleep disorder.

To learn more about what’s keeping you from sleeping the sleep of champions, please contact the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center in Omaha today.