Sports and Sleep


You can safely assume that it’s healthy to get sleep.  I’m sure you would also assume that playing sports is healthy and necessary for development.  But did you know that they go hand in hand?

Sports Greats

A great of any sport is bound to get a lot of sleep.  Michael Jordan has been said to get upwards of twelve hours of sleep in a day.  Serena Williams, arguably the greatest women’s tennis player ever, has said that she enjoys going to bed early around 7 PM.  Lance Armstrong even challenged people to get six to eight hours of sleep.

Why Do Sports Drain Us?

Exercise and sports drain us of energy, fluids, and it breaks down our muscle.  Muscle works by being broken down during exercise and being built back and stronger, but if you don’t get the sleep you need your muscles can’t rebuild.  That’s why it’s essential to get enough sleep to improve performance and endurance.  Lack of sleep has also been linked to poor attention span, poor recovery, and lapses of output.  What I mean by output is the ability to use your body effectively.  If you want to get the performance out of your body that you can, then you need to get sleep.

How Much Sleep is Needed?

Sleep is completely dependent on how much your body needs to recover from the day’s activities.  If you’re a swimmer or a wrestler and your sport is much more demanding than others, you may be looking at upwards of ten.  However, if your sport is, let’s say, bowling, then you may just need a solid eight or whatever you regularly get.  Either way, it’s essential to get plenty of sleep so you can compete.  If you truly think about your sport day-in day-out, then make sure you don’t forget about the day-out portion of that.