For those who play regular or
professional sports, it can be a struggle to get enough rest. But
even those who are getting enough sleep will find adding a few
extra hours may dramatically enhance performance.

New research by Stanford University
focused on studying how getting additional sleep is an advantage to
athletes. This was to see if if an athlete gets more sleep than his
or her competitors, will it will give them the winning

Just like the rest of us, athletes
see a drop in their performance if even just disturbed in their
sleep therefore it is essential that athletes normalise their
sleeping patterns to maximise the recovery process.


 Image: Athlete at starting
block -wikipedia

"Sleep is crucial for us to
maintain  health and function properly, as everyone has
experienced; without sleep our performance levels are greatly
effected." says the researcher Cheri D. Mah who lead the Stanford
study "Without proper sleep, whether in the short or long term,
there are substantial effects on our mood, mental and cognitive
skills, and motor abilities. Majority research on the effects of
sleep on athletes have included the study of sleep deprivation and
how strong the effects are."

The Cardinal men's basketball team
volunteered to be Mah's study of eleven players who on average
slept, just over 6.5 hours a night. Mah's researchers measured
their performances on sprint drills, free throws, and three-point
shooting. The players were then told to try and sleep as much as
they could with a goal of between 8.5-10 hours in bed each

The results were startling. By the
end of the extra-sleep period, players had improved their free
throw shooting by 11.4 percent and their three-point shooting by
13.7 percent. There was an improvement of 0.7 seconds on the
282-foot sprint drill-every single player on the team was quicker
than before the study had started.

A 13-percent performance enhancement
was simply the result of more sleep.

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Mark McClusky's
Faster, Higher, Stronger: How Sports Science Is Creating a New
Generation of Superathletes-and What We Can Learn from