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Identifying the Connection Between Sleep and Athletic Performance

sleep and athletic performance

A Healthy Balance of Sleep and Athletic Performance

You may go to bed at a decent time and allow for seven hours, but are you actually sleeping? It’s no secret that sleep and athletic performance go hand-in-hand, but just because your eyes are shut for an allotted amount of time doesn’t mean you are getting the best out of your sleep routine.

This directly affects your performance in the gym or on the field. If you aren’t reaching REM sleep (or rapid eye movement sleep), you likely aren’t maximizing your energy output the next day.

Importance of Sleep

REM is the fifth stage of sleep. It allows for paralysis of the muscles (a good thing) and the brain’s ability to fire neurons at a faster rate. REM sleep should occur for about 20-25 percent of sleep in adults, allowing for a full wakefulness throughout the next day.

When you are exercising, you are depleting important energy and fluids. Obviously, the proper sports drinks, water, and diets will help you recover most of these. Your entire daily routine — most importantly, your sleep routine — is key when replenishing, too. Your body is never done recovering.

Take a moment and consider your mindset, as well. If your seven hours of sleep is full of tossing and turning and the inability to receive a healthy dose of rest, you are more likely to load up on caffeinated drinks in the morning, which we know aren’t the healthiest choice. Later, you may even decide to skip your workout altogether because you just don’t have anything left in the tank. And if you’re playing a team sport, you are more likely to slack off on a shift or play, even if you don’t realize it. The last thing you want is your focus to be questioned.

Exercise experts will say that working out while tired really is not of great benefit to you, either. When it comes to sleep and athletic performance there needs to be a healthy balance. “The number one component of a solid exercise program is rest and recovery,” Robert Reames, the official trainer for the Dr. Phil Show, told Women’s Health Magazine in December 2013.

So the question becomes how do we combat this vicious cycle? It’s the same answer on how to improve your workout in your basement gym: get better equipment.

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The Sleeping Solution

Sure, your mattress may be comfortable. It may be the same one you’ve used since high school, and it has become a part of you; the last thing you want to do is replace it. But you would instantly see results if you were resting on a mattress that was built for an active lifestyle, allowing for a healthier sleep.

There are mattresses out there that will allow for your workout to continue through the night. If you’ve done your homework and you’ve found the perfect mattress, you could be reaching your top potential with each and every workout, creating a full replenishment period as you lay down for the night. You’ll be helping along your athletic performance at the one time your mind couldn’t be further from the gym.

Considering more effective ways to sleep better and for longer with pills or prescriptions? Check out our related blog post for more information: Natural Ways to Fall Asleep and Stay Asleep.

Ultimate Mattress Buying GuideShop our top factory direct mattresses, and explore our “practically green” materials that help you get a balance of quality sleep, long-term durability, and affordability. For more mattress information, consult our free Mattress Buying Guide complete with the knowledge and experience from our very own mattress experts. Discover a better way to rest by visiting a Beloit Mattress location close to you.

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