Without sleep, a person would be sleep deprived the next day, which could lead to a person not properly functioning. Heck, without sleep, a person could die. If you are an athlete in any sense of the word, then you should never take time away from your sleep schedule.
So, here's the million dollar question: How much sleep should you really be getting every night if you are an athlete?
Like anything in life, it depends. It depends on how much you work out/practice/play. A common theory is that most people need seven to nine hours of sleep every night (in most cases, people will say eight is the golden number for sleep), but athletes might need more than that.
"Just as athletes need more calories than most people when they're in training, they need more sleep, too," David Geier, a sports medicine specialist in Charleston, SC, said, according to webmd.com. "You're pushing your body in practice, so you need more time to recover."
One might be wondering why sleep is so important. Well, check out these bullet points that we pointed out in another article to find out why:
- "Sleeping releases HGH (Human Growth Hormone)"
- "Sleep allows our central nervous system to recuperate"
- "Allows muscle tissue to repair"
- "Produces protein for muscle growth"
- "Restores energy for the body and the brain"
- "Decreases levels of cortisol (stress hormone)"
If you are trying to lose weight by going to the gym five days a week, then you need to take into account that you lose weight when you sleep. Therefore, if you decrease the amount of hours you are sleeping, you are also likely going to decrease the amount of weight you lose. Not to mention, people recover while they are sleeping, a process that is so crucial for athletes.
If you think you can get by with five to six hours of sleep every night, and you consider yourself an athlete, then you will be very surprised to hear how much sleep some of the most famous athletes on the planet are getting. We will give you two examples.
According to huffingtonpost.com, NBA star Kevin Durant gets “a solid 8 hours of sleep each night.”
According to the same Huffington Post article, here's how much sleep NFL star Larry Fitzgerald gets: “[On game days], that night I will for sure get 10 or 11 hours.”
While the amount of sleep does depend on the person, athletes need a ton of it every single night. If you want your body to recover, if you want to see results and if you want to perform at the highest level, then you cannot take any shortcuts in the sleeping department. It is really that simple.