Sleep Like an Athlete in Order to Train Like an Athlete

  1. Running
  2. »
  3. Sleep Like an Athlete

How much sleep do people need?

7-9 hours

How much more sleep does an athlete in training need?

1-3 extra hours – totaling 8-10 hours of sleep

Many elite athletes will sleep 10 hours a night leading up to a big event.

What Happens During Sleep That is So Important?

  • The mind locks away information

    • Providing:
      • Better split second decisions
      • Better awareness of surroundings
      • The ability to recall learned information
      • Restored brain energy
      • Better regulation of emotions

Sleep Should Be a Part of Your Plan for Athletic Success

There are 3 main pillars to athletic success:

  1. Training
  2. Diet
  3. SLEEP

Sleep deprivation has also been shown to inhibit production of glycogen and carbohydrates, an essential function for endurance athletes.

“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,”
“I just eat, sleep and train.”
“Recovery, to me, means sleeping and eating well. If I’m not feeling recovered, I’ll sleep and eat more, and that usually does the trick. Maybe I’ll get a massage, but that’s it. I don’t use any fancy gadgets or anything like that.”
“Sleep is super important, the more you sleep, the more your body can handle. It’s just amazing what sleep does as far as repairing. Even if you can’t sneak in a nap, try to take a mental break from everything for a few minutes.”

Signs You Are Not Getting Enough Quality Sleep

  1. You fall asleep the moment your head hits the pillow
  2. You are constantly hungry
  3. You rely on caffeine or other stimulants to get through the day
  4. Your skin is suffering
  5. You are super moody
  6. You keep getting sick over and over again
  7. Your training is suffering

7 Ways to Get Better Sleep

  1. Set a pattern for going to sleep and waking up at the same times each day.
  2. Reduce long or irregular day-time naps
  3. Avoid alcohol
  4. Avoid caffeine in the evenings
  5. Find the perfect temperature – the average comfort level tends to be around 70 F
  6. Exercise regularly – but preferably earlier in the day
  7. Monitor your sleep habits so that you know how well you’re doing
Icons made by Freepik from is licensed by CC 3.0 BY

Post Author

Nicole Hillstead-Jones

RRCA Certified Coach & Nutrition Minor