SLEEP AND SPORT It’s not just the footballers at Real Madrid who adhere to strict sleep patterns to boost their performance. Tennis star Roger Federer is reported to need 11-12 hours a night in order to feel right’, Alpine Ski racer Lindsey Vonn claims to love her sleep, while sprinter Usain Bolt also values his shut-eye. 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,’ he’s been quoted as saying.

From football to athletics and everything in between, sleep affects all disciplines and aspects of sports performance. Not only does a good sleep pattern provide 17 per cent improvement in reaction time off the starting block with swimmers, according to the journal Sleep, but tennis players had a 42 per cent boost in hitting accuracy during training drills after a good night’s shut-eye. Stanford University also found that basketball players who got more sleep were nine per cent more on target with their shots. More recently, a study by Bensons for Beds (

Main Photography: Getty. Image of Becky, Craig Sugden ( revealed the dramatic physical performance benefits of adding two hours of sleep. Participants found that, after increasing their sleep from seven to nine hours, they could withstand a third more pain, their speed increased by 15 per cent and reaction times were 12 per cent faster.

YOURSELF FIT Photo Gallery

Run Yourself Fit | Get Running | Pinterest

Maybe You Like Them Too

Leave a Reply

43 − = 35