How to Train Harder, Recover Faster, Perform Better
When it comes to recovering from hard workouts and the stress of competition, there’s no better treatment than plenty of sleep. While most research has focused on the effects of sleep deprivation, Stanford University took a different approach by studying the benefits of getting more than the average amount of sleep.
Swimming – Stanford researchers started with the men’s and women’s swimming teams and first measured performance of each athlete and their average sleep duration, which was just over 6.5 hours a night. They then asked them all to sleep as much as they could for a period of 6 weeks, with the goal of sleeping 10 hours to remove all sleep debt that’s so common among college students. (Most got to over 8.5 hours.) When they measured again, the researchers noticed significant improvements in speed, reaction times, and turn times. On average they were .15 seconds faster off the block, half a second faster in 15-meter sprints, and had .1 second faster flip turns. [Read more…] about Sleep and Sports