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Make Sleep A Priority

We’ve all heard that we need eight hours of sleep each night to be properly rested for the next day, but whether by school, work, or just life in general, sometimes we find ourselves sacrificing our sleep for other things.

The truth is that just like many other things, the actual amount of sleep we need generally depends upon the person, and has several factors that may influence how much is needed. Age is the main factor, but the general quality of your sleep, and how much sleep you have been getting recently can all impact the amount of sleep you need. As we get older we tend to need less sleep, with small children needing around 12 hours of sleep per night, adolescents and teenagers needing around 10 hours, and adults only needing around 7 hours a night. Getting the recommended amount of sleep each day has been linked with improved health. Potentially influencing such things as weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression amongst other things. It is crucial to regularly get the appropriate amount of sleep each night to live a healthy life.

Within the realm of athletics, the importance of getting enough sleep is even more essential. Getting an appropriate amount of sleep each night is just as important as your training, your nutrition, and even your hydration. Sleep deprivation has been shown to cause significant decreases in accuracy and reaction time within the context of athletics, as well as severely inhibiting endurance performance, possibly through something as simple as increasing our perceived exertion. While at its opposite, sleeping even more than usual has been shown to provide beneficial effects on these same areas. Meaning that sleeping even more than you usually would the night before competition might just give you the edge that marks the difference between improving and adding time. While training, consistently getting enough sleep is almost even more important. Sleep deprivation has also been associated with cognitive lapses, making it harder to learn new things while practicing or making quick decisions while engaged in activity. Not to mention the negative impacts lack of sleep has on things such as feelings of fatigue, mood, soreness, and even depression. Factors that can limit our ability to succeed before we even start training. Getting enough sleep is just about the easiest thing you can do to help yourself improve.

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