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The Effect of Sleep on Strength and Sports Performance

Daniel Brady | January 22, 2013 in Strength
Handsome Man Sleeping

People often focus solely on diet and training, forgetting that sleep plays an important role too. This article will cover the issues caused by not sleeping enough and how much sleep you need to avoid these issues.

Take a look at the quote below for a taste of what more sleep can do for you.

Athletes who slept 10 rather than 8 hours were 9% more accurate in basketball, 4-6% faster at sprinting, 37% less fatigued and 13% faster reacting

Why Should I Sleep Enough? What Problems Are Caused By Lack of Sleep?

  • Reduced Strength: After 3 days with only 3 hours sleep per night, maximal bench press, leg press and dead lift were all down. Bench press was down by 20lb.[1]
  • Reduced Energy: Time to exhaustion is down by 11% and perceived exertion is up 17-19%.[2] This is probably the equivalent of a rep or two per set.
  • Increased Injury Rate: In the NBA, having less than 6 hours sleep led to a 63% increase in minor injuries.[2]
  • Lower Testosterone: Sleeping more can lead to 10-20% higher testosterone levels, in turn helping muscle gains. (Sleep and Testosterone)
  • Reduced Performance: When comparing 8 hours to 10 hours sleep, athletes who slept 10 hours were 9% more accurate in basketball, 4-6% faster at sprinting, 37% less fatigued and 13% faster reacting.[2]

How Much Should I Sleep for Maximum Performance?

8-10+ hours is necessary, and 10 hours is optimal. Sleep debt is real, so it’ll take a few weeks of sleeping 10 hours per night to reap the full benefits. Start today or tomorrow and you’ll have a gradual improvement in performance due to this one change. If you want help sleeping better, take a look at some of the Sleep Supplements at Bodybuilding.com



Email: danielbrady_89@hotmail.com

Daniel has a strong interest in evidence supported fitness training, preparation and supplementation. His goal is to provide clear information that simply works. He’s currently 16 kg of muscle above his starting weight (7kg in the past 12 months), and targeting a continued growth rate of 5kg+ per year.

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