Increasing the quality and quantity of your sleep brings several benefits, from higher levels of testosterone to faster muscle recovery and general wellbeing.
As a reader of T Nation, that was already known. The positive effects of sleep on health and performance are well known. Why do not so many athletes and lifters use deep sleep?
Firstly, it is difficult to determine the exact number of hours of sleep that maximizes return on investment (ROI). What surprised you: how much is too little sleep? How much is enough? What is optimal? And when does more time in bed change from a healthy activity to an unfulfilled laziness?
We all heard the banal recommendation to sleep eight hours a night. But some people only sleep seven hours and seem to walk well. Others feel drowsy after spending nine hours between sheets.
Where is the sweet spot for a guy or a girl who dominates the gym, wins on the field, and feels awesome day after day? Recent studies may have found the answer.
The Stanford Sleep Studies
A series of studies at Stanford University investigated the effects of sleep on athletic performance. Student athletes from a handful of different sports extended their sleep from around eight hours a night to ten hours. They maintained this new longer sleep plan for five to eight weeks (1-4).
The results were no less than impressive:
- Improved average commute time of 20 meters by 0.1 seconds  Improved average 40-yard strike by 0.1 seconds.
- Improved her sprint time by 15 yards by 0.51 seconds
- Reaction by 0.15 seconds faster on the blocks
- Improved turnaround time by 0.1 seconds
- increases kick shots by 5 kicks  Tennis Player
- Improved average sprint drilling time of 19.12 seconds to 17.56 seconds
- Increased accuracy including valid mark-ups from 12.6 to 15.61
Shooting time from 16.2 seconds to 15.5 Seconds
- Improved 10 free throws from 15 feet from 7.9 to 8.8 successful shots
- Improved 15 three-point attempts from 10.2 to 11.6 successful shots
The same research group also performs a d Elite cyclists. This time, they looked at the effects of sleep restriction rather than sleep extension. For three consecutive days, the cyclists slept only four hours a night. The results:
- The maximum aerobic force decreased by 2.9%
- The time to exhaustion decreased by 10.7% (37 seconds) (5)
In short, athletes over several weeks 10 Slept for hours per night, ran faster, reacted faster and hit or threw a ball with greater accuracy. In addition, her mood and vitality improved significantly, while fatigue decreased during the day.
On the other hand, only a few nights below average sleep resulted in a significant drop in athletic ability.
Use of this information  First, check your current sleep habits. At what time do you usually meet the sack? What time do you get up? Do you fall asleep seriously or stumble out of your sleep in the middle of the night? Most importantly, do you feel invigorated in the morning?
If you are like most Americans, there is a good chance you will not sleep enough, and the quality of your sleep will leave you wanting too.
So make a conscious decision to get one or three additional hours of sleep to reach the 10-hour threshold.
This not only increases your athletic performance but also significantly improves your mood and energy.
The Top Addition to Sleep
The Best Damn Sleep Tip Ever
- Mah, CD et al. The effects of sleep extension on the athletic performance of basketball colleges. Sleep. 2011 Jul; 34 (7): 943-950.
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Extra sleep improves the athletic performance of Collegiate football players." May 27, 2010. By: aasm.org/getting-extra-sleep-improves-the-athletic-performance-of-collegiate-football-players.[19659012eneAmericanAcademyofSleepMedicine"RunningStudieshaveimprovedAdditionalSleepThispornPerformance"4June2008From:aasmorg/ongoing-study-continues-to-show-that-extra-sleep-Improves-athletic-performance[19659012$AmericanAcademyofSleepMedicine"StudiezeigtdassdieSchlafverlängerungdiesportlicheLeistungundStimmungverbessert"29Mai2009Von:aasmorg/study-shows-sleep-extension-Improves-athletic-performance-and-mood[19659012(AmericanAcademyofSleepMedicine"ChronischeSchlafbeschränkungenwirkensichnegativaufdiesportlicheLeistungaus"13Juni2016Von:aasmorg/chronic-sleep-restriction-negative-effects-athletic-performance