This is part 5 of our
NAPPING FOR PEAK ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
Admit it, do you ever really need another excuse to take a nap? If you do, you’re in luck. Although you don’t want to use naps as an alternative to getting a full night’s sleep, a nap can not only help you perform at a higher level, but they can also help you learn skills faster.
Napping can help recover faster as well as be more mentally sharp during competion.
Napping has been shown to help sprinters run faster after a night of poor sleep. In addition to increasing speed, athletes have also shown a positive influence on cognitive tasks after taking a nap. How is this possible? Researchers have found that naps can reduce sleepiness which is beneficial when learning skills, strategy or tactics in sleep deprived athletes.
Napping is also beneficial for athletes who have to routinely wake early for training or competition especially considering the fact that those athletes are at a higher risk to suffer from sleep deprivation.
If you have the luxury of taking naps, you should add them to your daily routine to help you reach your peak athletic performance.
Interested in adding napping to your daily routine? Here’s a little advice to get the most out of your lunch break snooze fest.
Limit how long you nap for. The body goes through cycles while we sleep. In order to avoid waking up feeling more tired than when you first closed your eyes, you should limit your nap to 25 to 30 minutes. This amount of time allows you to rest without the risk of entering into a deep sleep and waking up feeling even more tired.
For the perfect nap, you also want to find a dark, cool, and quiet place to lie down. If necessary, try using an eye mask, ear plugs, or white noise machine to help tune out any sleep disruptions.
Make sure to check back tomorrow of the final segment of our week long series on sleep and athletic performance