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Fitness: Sleep Your Way to Better Performance

By Jill Barker, Montreal Gazette, 07/15/19, 1:15PM CDT

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There has been a lot of ink devoted to the important role training and nutrition play in maximizing athletic potential. Yet the value of a good night’s sleep has largely been ignored. But with the recent addition of apps that track sleep patterns and promote the health benefits of a sound sleep, more and more coaches and athletes are paying attention to getting the requisite 40 winks.

For years, discussions around sleep and exercise were centered on the theme that they were strange bedfellows, with claims that exercise too close to bedtime disrupts sleep. Add to that the propensity for athletes to partake in early morning workouts and evening competitions, and it’s clear that the lifestyle of an athlete doesn’t lend itself to healthy sleep habits.

Yet more and more research suggests that athletic performance is improved when athletes lengthen the time spent sleeping. And more and more sleep experts are promoting the importance of educating athletes on good sleep hygiene.