The Secret to Winning — How Sleep affects athletic performance

Plus: Sleepbo's Highest Recommended Workout Recovery tool

“Athletes who obtain all the sleep they need might have a 'secret' advantage over their competition.”

Whether you’re a runner or lifter, gym junkie or sports player, you probably consider yourself an athlete – through and through. Even though I can’t play due to certain circumstances, sport, physical performance, is part of my life, and I strive to compete, whether against others or myself, at my best. I’m sure you do too. 

Ask any athlete, in any sport, what it takes to compete at the highest level, and you’ll likely hear training, conditioning, and practice. Of course, some might say nutrition or persistence. But rarely will you hear someone mention SLEEP—except for maybe the GOATS.

SLEEP IS A CRUCIAL PILLAR OF SUCCESS

That’s right. The greatest of all time players—the best of the best—are where they are, standing at the highest point of the podium, not because of how much they put into the pitch, the court, or the pavement, but in the bedroom. Sleep—the quality and amount—is what separates an average athlete from an exceptional one

Essentially, the quality and amount of sleep athletes get is often the key to winning. This is because quality sleep helps rest the mind. Just saying, being physically rested might help an athlete make the play, but being mentally rested will help that player make the right play. As such, sleep becomes a crucial pillar of success.

Sleep: The best performance enhancer for sports teams and athletes? https://eurekalert.org/e/7qhc

British Sleep Scientist - Matt Walker PHD - Newcastle University

SLEEP AFFECTS ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE

When it comes to athletic performance, sleep plays a huge part in:

  • Reaction times
  • Motor function
  • Motivation
  • Focus
  • Stress regulation
  • Muscle recovery
  • Sprint performance
  • Muscle glycogen
  • Glucose metabolism
  • Memory and learning
  • Injury risk
  • Illness rates
  • Unwanted weight gain

The list could go on. More and more athletes are learning that sleep has a big impact on performance, wins, and losses.
Some of the greatest athletes known today make sleep a priority, especially before big competitions.

FAMOUS ATHLETES WHO PRIORITIZE SLEEP AND WIN

Andy Murray – Tennis

When he won Wimbledon in 2013, he was sleeping 12 hours per night.

CHRISTIANO RONALDO – Football

Likes to sleep 8 hours a night, throwing in several naps a day (up to five). 

USAIN BOLT – Track

Sleeps 8 – 10 hours per night. “Sleep is extremely important to me — I need to rest and recover in order for the training I do to be absorbed by my body”

ROGER FEDERER – Tennis

Owning an all-time record of 20 Grand Slam Titles… “If I don’t sleep 11-12 hours a day, it’s not right.”  

SERENA WILLIAMS – Tennis

23 time Grand Slam tennis winner reached her tenth Wimbledon final only 10 months after giving birth which she contributes to her unwavering sleep schedule

But just because you aren’t a professional athlete doesn’t mean you can’t learn from them.

MAKE SLEEP A PRIORITY 

Sleep - the most important Workout Supplement

Just like training to improve your athletic performance, you can also train to improve your sleep.

Establishing a regular sleep schedule and routine can go a long way to helping you stay strong and healthy so you can excel at your favorite physical activities.

Here are some tips to help improve your sleep:

  1. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Both can cause or trigger certain sleep disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia especially when consumed after 12pm.
  2. Limit the late-night lifting. Vigorous workouts can raise stress levels which impairs sleep. Working out right before bed might increase your sleep latency—the time it takes to fall asleep.
  3. Drink only enough fluids to maintain proper hydration. You don’t want a full bladder to wake you during the night!
  4. Turn off the screens. TVs and smartphones emit blue light, which suppresses the melatonin levels that make us sleepy. Put down the game, consider staying off social media, and keep your bedroom dark and quiet.  
  5. Nap. Sleep benefits are cumulative, so naps can help you recover from a previous night of poor sleep or waking up early for training sessions. 

*** But Sleepbo’s secret weapon to Maximizing Fitness Gains through Sleep is…

The Weighted Blanket

(This is a no-brainer – the most important decision you’ll ever make for athletic performance!)

Recovering in a Kudd.ly Weighted Blanket (Sleepbo's #1 Recommendation - Click to Visit Site)

Your Sleep Journey is essential for taking your Health & Performance to the next level. Rearranging your life to accommodate better sleep is more challenging than training for your sport.

But you must treat this with a sense of urgency. Here’s why a BUYING A WEIGHTED BLANKET is the most crucial FIRST-STEP you’ll ever make to achieve that elusive “next level” of performance.

* Immediate Benefits – you’ll sleep better the first night & instantly supercharge your recovery
* Sleep isn’t the only benefit – You’ll experience instant relaxation even while sitting on the couch or at your desk. This is invaluable for stress/anxiety management (WHICH ALSO improves sleep, which in turn enhances recovery!)
* Extremely Affordable – pennies per sleep over the lifetime of the blanket. The benefits will pay for the blanket thousands of times over. Plus the best brands have money-back guarantee if you aren’t happy with your purchase

Sleepbo Highly Recommends These Weighted Blankets

Kudd.ly Blanket £49 (SleepBo’s  #1 Choice!)

We can’t get enough of this blanket!

With it’s lush and velvety touch, Kuddly’s weighted blanket is made to form to your body, providing the perfect cuddle on the couch and in bed. Filled with BPA-FREE, tiny, round glass beads, Kuddly is designed for comfort, relaxation, and sleeping. Plus, it’s machine washable and comes in two amazing colours—a soft grey and luscious blue. 

One Kuddler said this about their blanket: “Absolutely thrilled with this blanket. My daughter loves it.  She falls asleep with it almost instantly. Would recommend it to anyone. Thank you for creating such a perfect and affordable product.”

   Related: “My Kuddly Weighted Blanket Experience”

KOALA BLANKET £89.99

Using its deep touch technology that calms the nervous system, the Koala blanket helps stabilize your stress levels, increases your relaxation and improves your sleep. Made from bamboo and cotton, the Koala blanket is eco-friendly, durable, and competitively priced. With its two sided cover, you can use the silk eco bamboo side on those warmer nights, or the ultra-soft minky side on cooler days.

One customer stated: “…I’ve been using my blanket for nearly a week now and it has totally transformed my sleep. For months now, I have had great difficulty sleeping, a new and unusual experience for me. I have tried natural and medical remedies to no avail. But now, I am sleeping so much better…”

YnM Weighted Blanket £89

The YNM is our third choice for its moisture-wicking management and bamboo viscose properties, providing all year round comfort. Plus, there are two extra layers of durable and breathable fabrics ensuring there a nore leaks of beads, or breaks in the blanket. It also allows you to pick the weight you want and comes in a variety of colours. That said, it’s on the pricier side.

One happy customer said: “I suffered from insomnia for most of my life and it has affected work, not being able to get up in the morning, every morning, and now always having a horrible day is completely fixed. I am off to sleep within minutes of getting into bed with this blanket. It is very heavy to hold and rather cumbersome to put on my bed, but stays in place once on. Would highly recommend purchasing!”

ZZZNEST Weighted Blanket £89

ZZZNEST uses 7 layers of fabric and small diamond tight stitching to prevent movement of the beads in the blanket allowing for the most comfortable and sound sleep. Targeting disorders like RLS and anxiety, ZZZNEST promotes calmness and restfulness allowing you to sleep so much more soundly. Its beautiful grey colour is bound to compliment any room. 

A customer states that: “Fantastic product .. Comfortable and soft feel .. Weighted but not heavy… Almost feels like you’re being held and gives a sense of comfort to anxiety sufferers like myself. It helps relax the body, I would recommend this to anybody, Fast efficient delivery… Thank you very much !!!”

Bedsure Weighted Blanket £89

This 6.8kg weighted blanket triggers hormones that calm and soother you to help you achieve a deeper sleep. Its unique seven-layer process ensures maximum softness without feeling the filling on the inside. Bedsure is composed of breathable fabric and filled with comfortable glass beads. This weighted blanket will surely help you sleep better and feel so much calmer. 

A Happy Customer Says: “This blanket is brilliant! At first use, it is very heavy and trying to lift it up with your leg whilst in bed is very hard work if you are the kind that likes to ‘stick a leg out’ but after a few days, you get used to the weight. I will say, I sleep much sounder since I purchased this and getting to sleep no longer takes hours just minutes. If you have sleeping problems then this is marvellous!”