(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Getting more sleep could be just as important
to an athlete's success as practice and strength training, according to a
When members of the Stanford University's women's tennis team tried to get
closer to 10 hours a night of sleep for a period of five to six weeks, they
ran faster in sprinting drills, hit more accurately and hit deeper than they
did when they maintained their usual sleep patterns, researchers found.
Many of the athletes who participated in the study realized for the first
time the importance of sleep and how it impacts their performance during
competitions, said lead author Cheri Mah, M.S., a researcher at the Stanford
Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory at Stanford University.
“Traditionally, elite athletes dedicate numerous hours to daily practice,
strength training and conditioning as well as work closely with
nutritionists in hopes of optimizing their athletic performance,” Mah said.
“While most athletes and coaching staff may believe that sleep is an
important contributing factor in sports, many do not realize that optimal or
peak performance can only occur when an athlete's sleep and sleep habits are
The study was conducted during the regular tennis season to provide data
during weekly practices as well as during tournaments and competitions,
SOURCE: Study presented on June 8, 2009 at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the
Associated Professional Sleep Societies