The Wimbledon Championships kick off this week
on the grass courts of London where the world's best will try to
serve their way into the record books. World number one, Andy
Murray, who won the tournament in 2013 and 2016, may not be in the
form he was last year, but will return to centre court in a bid to
engrave his name on the trophy once again.


Sleeping is important in all walks of life but
for an athlete it is vital. Are you a sporty person? Perhaps you
prefer to play the spectator? No matter how active you are, you
will gain all the benefits below from a good night's
sleep.


Improved reaction times and better
accuracy


Sleep deprivation is known to reduce reaction
time significantly and also reduce accuracy.  Pulling an
all-nighter can reduce reaction times by more than 300%. That's
more than having four pints of lager and a drunken kebab! A tennis
player wouldn't walk onto the court after an afternoon session so
they can't expect to perform to their best on less than a full
night's sleep.


Reduced injury rates, improved overall
health


Not getting your hours in on a night means your
body doesn't have enough time to regenerate cells or repair
muscles, this could really affect the outcome for the contestants
at Wimbledon this week. Also, as you get older, your recovery time
becomes longer; ageing Federer may have to worry about this more
than his upcoming opponents, but we think he must be a good
sleeper, winning 18 Grand Slam tournaments in his
career.


Fewer mental errors


"Tennis is mostly mental" according to Venus
Williams. Can you imagine the pressure of serving for a place in
the record books? Especially in the eyes of millions! Sleep loss
can impair judgement and often a single decision could cost a game.
Not getting your rest can also hinder motivation, focus, memory,
and learning; all factors which are vital to a winning set in
tennis.


Let's hope Heather Watson, Andy Murray, and all
the other British contestants are getting their hours in on a
night! Come the 15th July let's see some silverware!