Sleep drastically impacts everyone’s health. However, athletes especially need to be aware of how poor sleep could alter their mental and physical performance.

The American College of Sports Medicine reports that in a study of 11 male subjects who completed a 30-min self-paced treadmill test, distance covered was decreased after sleep deprivation.

Overall speed and performance are impaired by a lack of sleep, but the consequences are particularly dramatic when looking at accuracy and reaction time. The American College of Sports Medicine noted that in a study of tennis players that got 5 hours of sleep in a single night, serving accuracy decreased up to 53% compared to after a normal night’s sleep.

And these examples only cover the ways sleep deprivation inhibits physical performance. However, mental aptitude can be just as important in sports. A brain that is well rested is better at problem solving, decision-making, memory and creativity. This would help an athlete make better split-second decisions regarding their next move or help them remember a certain play. Better sleep also leads to better leadership and team engagement. Which means the more teammates that are well-rested, the better positioned a team is to win.

Sleep could also be impact your ability to avoid injury, which is very important to an athlete’s livelihood. Accident risk decreases by 70% when getting proper sleep. By being alert, people face fewer errors and faster response time. This could mean the difference between a fall that breaks an ankle or a fall that was adjusted in time to avoid injury.

There are lots of notable athletes who know the power of a good night’s rest. Roger Federer claims to sleep around 12 hours, Usain Bolt sleeps between 9 ½ to 10 hours, and LeBron James sleeps 12 hours as well. However, what works for one person’s schedule may not work for you. Taking an at home sleep test may help you find out if you’re getting deep enough sleep to make the most of a full night of rest. SleepMaster Solutions™ provides a free online sleep screening for athletes or anyone looking to optimize their health.