Getting a good night’s rest or not can have a serious impact on your athletic performance and your ability to increase strength and improve endurance. Not getting enough rest at night can have a variety of causes ranging from excess stress, stimulant overuse or neurological problems in the brain that cause sleep disruptions. A poor night’s rest can impact your ability to function the next day including having a negative impact on your workout.
Decreased Reaction Time
Studies have shown that getting enough quality sleep has a major impact on reaction time. This results from the effect of sleep deprivation on psychomotor skills and cognitive function. In plain English, this means that sleep deprivation can make athletes more prone to injury due to improperly performing athletic tasks, for example making runners more likely to trip or misstep or making bodybuilders more likely to use improper form thereby causing undue stress on supporting muscles.
Fatigue is, of course, a well-known effect of too little sleep, especially chronic lack of sleep over a prolonged period of time. Excessive fatigue can even affect athletes to the point that they skip workouts or practices, creating a vicious circle in which the body suffers more over time. As it relates to performance, fatigue affects not only your body’s endurance ability, but it also hampers its ability to repair and regenerate after physical stress.
In fact, getting extra sleep has been tied to better performance with relation to both speed and accuracy in a study performed on basketball players. Players improved their overall speed by 5% and increased their free throw accuracy by 9% by getting additional sleep. Research has even shown that reaction times of people suffering from impaired sleep are as bad if not worse than people under the influence of alcohol.
Consulting a Neurologist
If your sleep is being disrupted to the point that it affects your athletic performance or your quality of life, you may want to consider consulting a neurologist like those at Billings Clinic. If you have a sleep disorder, it may have roots in your neuromuscular system, especially if you experience sleep apnea.
In conclusion, poor quality sleep or lack of sleep can seriously hamper athletic performance to a much greater degree than people might assume. Speed, reaction time and fatigue are affected the most, causing poor performance overall and affecting individual and team performance. Sleep disorders might require seeing a neurologist, so if your lack of sleep is causing a negative impact on your fitness goals, consider talking with a specialist.