07 Jun 2020

By Victoria Athey BSc MSc MCSP. Physiotherapist and Sports Massage Therapist at 360Athletic

Personally I love sleep, remember that time you woke up feeling all refreshed after a great night’s rest? Yep, suddenly it makes sense why sleep is one of the most effective strategies we have for recovery – sleep is the foundation from which everything is built. Yet many of us (yes now is a good time to reflect on your poor sleeping habits) just don’t get enough simply as we don’t prioritise it. Well I am here to convert you, in fact I probably can from this one piece of knowledge – research has shown you are 1.7 times MORE likely to get injured if you sleep less than 8 hours???! Exactly suddenly our comfortable bed seems more appealing.

Effects of sleep deprivation:

  • Increased injury risk – Sleeping <8 hours/night = 1.7x greater risk of injury – I know I’ve already said it BUT as a physiotherapist and someone who has suffered injuries in the past it really is such a simple thing that could save you a whole load of pain!
  • Reduced strength – Remember this next time you can’t hit that new PB on your deadlift … precisely what we DON’T want lack of sleep reduces our ability to perform sustained exercise bouts, maximal muscle strength in compound movements and specific sport skills 
  • More grumpy states – This one I am sure we are aware of similar to when we have overtrained, lack of sleep is linked to greater variation in mood and many other cognitive impairments. 
  • Reduced muscle growth – Uh-oh less muscle mass? Less toned bodies? This might be the one that really conveniences you! Poor sleepers may have reduced muscle protein resynthesis (building) resulting in less muscle growth for all your hard gym efforts!
  • Reduced bone health – Forget calcium for a minute, sleep deprivation has been linked to increased risk of bone stress injuries, let’s make sure we allow that sleep to optimise our bone health
  • Reduced general health – Less sleep can increase stress, confusion and really effect your overall health negatively, something that really we should ALL be trying to avoid.

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Am I getting enough Sleep?

Ask yourself how many hours of sleep you typically get per night? Do you feel refreshed within 30 minutes of waking? Do you feel fatigued/sleepy during the day? Evidence shows we should be aiming for 8hours+ per night!

Use our simple advice in Part 2 (coming next week) to improve your sleep quantity and quality and reap the MANY rewards.

If you’d like to learn more about recovery, rehabilitation, decreasing injury risk and exercise selection then join our 360Athletic Training Online and book a physiotherapy session (online or in-clinic), 50% OFF YOUR FIRST APPOINTMENT! We are here to get you fitter and healthier! 

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