Sleep Promotes Athletic Performance

Improve performance and reduce the risk of illness

Athletes get more colds and flu following intense athletic competitions or during periods of heavy training. This is due partly to psychological stress and inadequate sleep, which increases the risk of upper-respiratory illnesses. Athletes can improve performance and reduce the risk of illness by getting more sleep. A Stanford University study showed that tennis players who increased the amount of nightly sleep and made up for accumulated sleep deprivation showed improvements in sprint drill times, service accuracy, and hitting depth. Athletes improved by as much as 30 percent in some of the tests. The athletes attempted to sleep 10 hours per night. Sleep is critical for maximizing athletic performance. (Paper presented at American Academy of Sleep Medicine Annual Meeting, June 8, 2009)