The importance of Sleep in Athletic Recovery:
The most important facet to athletic recovery is sleep. This naturally recurring state of mind and body characterized by altered consciousness provides benefits to mental health, hormone balance and muscular recovery. Getting enough sleep typically means anywhere from 7-10 hours a night for most athletes.
Sleep helps your brain work properly! While sleeping your brain forms new pathways to help you learn information. If you are trying to learn a new instrument , perfect your golf swing or hit that new PR on your lifts. Sleeping helps enhance your learning ability and problem solving skills in addition to helping you pay attention, make decisions and be creative. For children and teens being sleep deprived can lead to anger, impulsiveness, mood swings, sadness, depression or lack of motivation.
Chronic sleep deprivation can set off numerous hormones and metabolic processes in the body. Sleep deprivation can increase your risk of obesity as alterations in glucose tolerance which causing your body to feel hungrier than it should causing you to reach for that extra helping or mid-day sugar binge resulting in taking in excess calories that get stored as fat due to the impaired glucose tolerance. Sleep deprivation has also been shown to lower leptin (an appetite suppressing hormone produced by fat cells, normally produced in abundance at night) and ghrelin (hormone release by the stomach that stimulates hunger which is also secreted at night). Sleep deprivation also has an effect on cortisol levels which are associated with stress and belly fat. An overall decrease in this hormone leads to an increase in likelihood of developing diabetes and obesity.
During sleep your body recovers from exercise, repairs itself and generates new muscular tissue. Your body maximizes its output of growth hormone during sleep and at the same time replenishes neurotransmitters (specialized chemicals) needed for focus, attention, motivation, overall energy levels and muscular contractions. These neurotransmitters include dopamine, adrenalin, noreadrenalin, acetylcholine and more..