Being an athlete means you must be at the top of your game, have a strict exercise routine, a perfect diet. What is less talked about is that many athletes at the top of their game prefer to get 10 – 12 hours sleep a night.
A good nights sleep ensurses their body is fully recovered and rested. The brain will be firing on all cylinders which also means they can approach their sport with 100% focus and energy.
Former world number one Roger Federer likes to get nine to ten hours of sleep every night and credits much of his successes to being fully rested.
“For me, sleeping has become quite important, I make sure I sleep enough. It’s really the sleep that gives you energy again down the road. That’s why the next two days are very important for me in terms of sleeping,” says Federer.
Sleep isn’t even considered in some peoples routines, although it is as important as diet and training. If your body is not fully rested you cannot perform to your full potential and your opponent may gain the edge. Research into how sleep can affect you, if you are an 8-hour a night sleeper but only get 6 hours, your body performs the same as if you had a blood-alcohol level of 0.05.
Usain Bolt, considered the greatest sprinter of all time treats sleep as part of his training routine.
“Sleep is extremely important to me – I need to rest and recover in order for the training I do to be absorbed by my body.” says Usain.
Some athletes prefer to get a good nap before a game, rather than 10 hours at night. American Basketball players are said to get upto 3 hours sleep before a game to ensure they are fully rested.
Whether you are a pro-athlete, or just a keen athlete, the key is to start to consider sleep as part of your routine. Treat it with the same level of respect you do with your diet and training. One good nights sleep might make the difference between 2nd and 1st place.