Sleep and Performance: Tips from a Pro Athlete
Getting benched due to sports-related injury is one of the biggest fears of serious athletes!
It may mean the end of their careers. This risk can be significantly removed, however, through healthy habits and a consistent physical routine.
For athletes to perform to their best abilities in terms of focus and skill, they need to stay healthy. Besides diet, lifestyle, and training, sleep is another vital aspect of athletic performance.
Studies from the Sleep Division of the Stanford School of Medicine show that when athletes get less than 8 hours of sleep a night, their risk of injury goes up by 170%! Further, lack of sleep causes a significant drop in training focus and performance.
Sleep deprivation leads to inhibited ability, decreased focus and reaction times, and quicker exhaustion. Thus, to be better on the field, you need to sleep better at night!
Sleep Routine Tips from Zack McKinstry, MLB
Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Zach McKinstry (@zach_mckin8 on Instagram) knows how vital high-quality sleep is to his athletic performance.
He shares, "Restorative sleep helps me recover and use my muscle memory for the next day, working on my swing."
Sleep allows your heart to rest and your body cells and tissues to repair.
It prevents illness and enables you to recover from it, as our bodies produce cytokines during sleep, the hormones that help boost the immune system and fight off infections. Optimal sleep increases alertness, spatial awareness, cognitive performance, and the state of readiness. These restorative effects help with any athlete's recovery and performance.
In the Big Leagues, having a healthy routine is crucial and consistency is key. As soon as Zach McKinstry gets home in the evening, he winds down by just hanging out: putting his glasses on, watching some Netflix, then meditating a bit before heading to sleep.
How does a professional athlete get a great night's sleep, even while on the road?
When traveling, Zach makes sure to establish some consistency and routine in his sleep. He takes his mattress topper and travel pillow everywhere to get a great night's sleep, every single night.
"I have 3 Majestic Beds products. I have the Fusion Mattress Topper, the Majestic Pillow, and the Travel Size Pillow. They go with me basically everywhere." shared Zach.
"I go to Majestic Beds products to have the best night of rest. It's one of the best decisions I've made to enhance my performance. Sleep is very important. Majestic Beds changed my game and my life," said Zach.
Sleep hygiene is essential for all people, but especially athletes. This means creating the appropriate sleep environment and replicating that to establish a routine.
While most of us have the recommended 8 hours of sleep daily, athletes are advised to get more -- at least 9 to 10 hours of sleep every night. Additional sleep is encouraged before events and competitions.
Alcohol and caffeine should be avoided a few hours before bedtime as they can interrupt or disturb sleep. Similarly, electronics and screen time should also be avoided as blue light from these devices can affect the circadian rhythm.
A wind-down routine like Zach's is just as necessary: Establish activities that soothe you, such as reading, meditating, or taking a bath. These cues will get your brain and body ready for sleep.
For athletes, sleep is treated with as much importance as training, diet and lifestyle. When one is lacking, overall performance will be affected. Sleep helps all of us with our physical and cognitive function, having short- and long-term effects.
Helping Athletes Harness the Healing Power of Sleep
If you want to understand your sleep even better, our Majestic Beds Team is here to help! At MajesticBeds, we design our products for maximum recovery and peak performance.
For more questions, feel free to contact us to speak with our Sleep Experts. We can help you find the best sleep solution for your needs.