How sleep can affect an Athlete’s Performance

Our Sporting Performance can drastically plummet if we don’t get our fair share of sleep – How? Why? Well, the Sleep Foundation‘s studies show that if we lack an adequate amount of sleep then our bodies don’t repair memory, consolidate memory, and release hormones effectively.

Sleep deprivation can affect split second decisions – which could be the difference between winning a 50/50 ball or coming off second best. Getting enough rest is not only important on the field, but it is also crucial that you make sure you’re well-rested for off the field benefits too. Serious lack of sleep can leave radical effects on your body such as — memory deficiency, low attention span, increased heart pressure etc (see image below).

The image can be translated back to any athlete and how it can affect you game day — slower reactions, decrease in activity (lower energy output), shortens attention and worsening of mood etc. All of these can be avoided by getting in a nutritional pre-game meal, making sure you are rested the night before and being focused mentally.


  • Improved Reaction Times
  • Reduced Injury rates, improved overall health
  • Longer playing careers
  • Better accuracy, faster sprint times
  • Fewer mental errors


Fatigue Science offers us an insight into the ‘5 ways sleep has the greatest impact on athletic performance‘, these steps are a great guideline in how to keep your career on track, stay fit/healthy and how to maximise your peak performance — these steps are:

  • Serena Williams loves her sleep and goes to bed at 7pm most nights. Twenty-three Grand Slam titles is nothing short of great.Growth hormones develop when we sleep.
  • Growth hormones develop when we sleep.

Research shows that getting the recommended levels of sleep can be beneficial to taking your game to the next level. If you’re interested in improving your athletic performance while studying then visit our Institute of Sport and see how we can help.

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