Can Sleep Improve Your Athletic Performance?

Yes! A good amount of Sleep can really positively impact greatly on athletic performance, also you do not have to get surprised when I say that without having an optimal amount of sleep. Athletes might suffer from delayed response time during an intense game, increased chances of injuries, poor critical thinking, demotivation which all leads to worsening athletic performance.  Let’s discuss it in detail with some empirical studies, for authenticating the information!

Research shows strong evidence between athlete performance and sleep. According to an article published in Current Sports Medicine Reports “Sleep and Athletic Performance”   suggests that “Sleep is an essential component of health and well-being, with significant impacts on physical development, emotional regulation, cognitive performance, and quality of life. Along with being an integral part of the recovery and adaptive process between bouts of exercise, accumulating evidence suggests that increased sleep duration and improved sleep quality in athletes are associated with improved performance and competitive success.”


The most obvious passion of any athlete is being physically fit for the sports they love and play, therefore they have to follow strict routine regarding their living patterns such as eating, exercising and sleeping. Yes, you can say, they breathe for the quality of their performance in the sports and which is quite required when it comes to playing the world’s top-notch sports arenas’, fields and courts.

Fatigue and Energy Level

Sleep in this regard is the most vital player for determining the energy level in any athlete. Lack of sleep is a clear indicator of low performance, as the stress-relieving hormones in the body keep working towards revitalizing your energy thus giving energy booster for overall body and mind! Also, you might be aware of the fact that not getting enough amount of sleep decreases the production of glycogen and carbohydrates which serves as energy buffers while performing any physical activities.  use during physical activity which can directly lead to the probability of low energy and fatigue leading to low-performance level for any athlete and even slow recovery of energy after a hectic gaming practice or a match. So you can’t ignore the sleeping part, if you are an athlete, being on the top in your game even for the practising session, sleep is a sectional food for your overall fitness and to take you forward in your sports career.

Impact on Response Time

Well, for an athlete timing to respond is everything. Whether you are the head of your competition on the track or pulling out your boat from the storm, the slightest tick of time makes a significant difference. Do you know that sleep deprivation, or not getting enough amount of sleep actually reduces the cognitive ability, alertness of the mind that leads to the delayed reactions during playing?  Not getting enough sleep can decrease the chance to promptly react in tough situations and vice versa. If an athlete is taking enough amount of sleep, he/she can be able to stay in the moment, without getting and cognitive pauses for deciding the next move.

Sleep and athletic Memory

When you sleep well, you wake up all energized with a willingness to kick-start your day with motivation. When a person sleeps, the first few hours of sleep is known for consolidating the muscular memory that enables individuals to perform physical movements with conscious efforts and needed energy i.e. sleep is truly a focus booster, and if an athlete has a good concentration by staying in the moment, vigilantly he/ she can steer the game wheel ahead of the competition in terms of their quality performance. However, the impact is quite opposite if they do not get an adequate amount of sleep, it would be quite difficult to process the received signals from the brain and take physical action responsively on time, thus decreasing the overall performance. 

Furthermore, During sleep, an individual’s muscles and central nervous system tend to recover from the physical and mental activity of the entire day. You must know that the human central nervous system is exclusively responsible for functions like muscle contractions, reactions to body pain and responding which are key contributors in enhancing athletic performance. Moreover, muscle recovery is when most of the Human Growth Hormones are actively released during sleep, which is essential for normal muscle growth and sustained athletic performance.

Focus, Focus & Focus

Focus is everything in sports!. For instance, if the focus of a bowling ballplayer is good, it leads to a better performance in the game with time sprinting and throwing techniques which leads to better accuracy and time management by being able to throw efficiently. With no surprise, there are some bowling gloves and other tools available which can help you to prepare your body so you can focus on your game. 

Another important contribution of sleep to the performance of the athlete is regarding the risk of injury. Getting ideal amounts of sleep not only helps athletes to cope up fast against the injuries but also protects them from potential chronic athletic injuries during the game. Research evidences published on also indicates that getting an adequate amount of sleep reduces the chances of athletic injuries. As discussed above that decelerated response time can prevent an athlete from injury or even bracing for an effect.

Also, another,  2014 research study in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that adolescents who played a game by having a night of less than straight 8 hours of sleep were almost twice as likely to get wounded as compared to those who had 08 hours of sleep.

Wrapping up Thoughts

So my final verdict is no matter what we think, the key contribution of sleep towards an athlete’s performance cannot be ignored at any level nor overstated. After getting a comprehensive review of the empirical studies it is inevitable to support the fact that sleep does lead to a better and quality performance of an athlete. therefore, we can conclude that sleep determines the way an athlete react, response, move or accurately perform as well as their behaviour in terms of motivation level, attitude, and energy towards making decision required during the game. So along with proper nutrition, living style, a good amount of sleep should also be treated as a routine ritual when it comes to an athlete’s performance.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *