Saturday, July 2, 2011

Extra Sleep May Be a Good Idea Before Race Day

Speed during 282-foot sprints improved significantly from 16.2 seconds at baseline to 15.5 seconds after sleep extension, and shooting accuracy increased significantly by nine percent on both free throws and three-point field goals. Subjects also reported improved overall ratings of physical and mental well-being during practices and games   -Athletic performance improves with extended sleep: Stanford study’s new evidence

Big girl bed

MY COMMENT:  How many times have you gone into a race with less than optimal sleep?  This basketball study suggests improved athletic performance when players averaged 8.5 hours of sleep compared to <7 hours at baseline. 

Authors suggest:

Prioritize sleep as a part of your regular training regimen.

* Extend nightly sleep for several weeks to reduce your sleep debt before competition.

* Maintain a low sleep debt by obtaining a sufficient amount of nightly sleep (seven to nine hours for adults, nine or more hours for teens and young adults).

* Keep a regular sleep-wake schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same times every day.

* Take brief 20-30 minute naps to obtain additional sleep during the day, especially if drowsy.

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