3 Major Ways That Sleep Impacts Performance

Updated: October 20, 2017
 Contributor: Benjamin Kielhold, Coach Rozy Intern Performance Coach

RECOVERY, mindset and training are the three fundamental categories in building a high performance and durable athlete. A major part of the recovery process is sleep.

Most people understand that sleep is important to performance. However, it goes far beyond general tiredness or fatigue. Listed below is a more specific, yet SIMPLE, look at what happens when the body is not properly rested.

Tissue Breakdown

Sleep deprivation increases levels of cortisol. Cortisol is catabolic in nature meaning that it breaks down tissue. Allowing more cortisol to enter an athlete’s system inhibits the ability to grow and develop.

Slower Recovery Process

Sleep deprivation also decreases the amount of human growth hormone that is released (HGH). HGH is used by the body to rebuild and restore the body/muscles that have endured stress.

Decreased Ability to Turn Food into Fuel

Sleep deprivation affects the body’s ability to readily store glucose in the liver and muscle. This creates a problem because glucose/glycogen are the primary sources of fuel for athletes.

Unique Tricks for Better Sleep


Wear Clean Socks to Bed

Past studies have shown that warmer temperatures of the hands and feet accelerate the process of falling asleep. Next time you are having problem falling asleep, slip on a pair of clean socks.


Hot Shower or Bath Before Bed

A hot shower is considered a “double whammy” for getting to sleep quickly. The general warmer temperatures spark a sense of tiredness. ALSO, a rapid cooling of the body after a hot shower has been shown to increase that tiredness even further.

Switch to Morning Workouts

A late night workout is not the best idea! It takes the body a few hours to return from that elevated level of excitedness, so one should try to take advantage of morning workouts. Not only will you fall asleep faster, but you get to feel the benefits of a workout throughout the day.



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