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Dreaming of Gold – Sleep & Performance

Dreaming of Gold – Sleep & Performance

The off-season is the perfect time to reset and recalibrate ourselves for better habits that will set us up for greater health and performance in…

Tuesday, Dec 05

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The off-season is the perfect time to reset and recalibrate ourselves for better habits that will set us up for greater health and performance in 2024. A fundamental habit is sufficient quality sleep. How did elite track and field athletes approach sleep prior to the Tokyo Olympics? We have all heard it enough times but it bears repeating because it’s so fundamental and so true: all the hard training you carefully plan comes to nothing without quality recovery that allows you to adapt to that stress. And possibly no recovery strategy is more important that getting sufficient amounts of quality sleep.

You can use all the fancy recovery gadgets on the market and have the best dietary plans, but sleep is really the time when recovery is ALL that the body is doing. It’s physically not running around cleaning the house, chasing the kids, or walking the dog. Mentally it’s consolidating your mental activity and memory. Hormonally growth hormone is being released to facilitate physical recovery and adaptation. All of these and many more critical functions are being short-changed if you cut corners on sleep.

So before we get into today’s study, if there’s only one thing you care to focus on this off-season, I suggest that it be optimizing both the quantity and quality of sleep.

Vitale et al. 2023

An Italian group explored the sleep and nap strategies of Italian track and field Olympic hopefuls prior to the Tokyo 2021 Olympics (Vitale et al. 2023). They also […]

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