Take a Nap
Why a nap is important for recovery:
- Sleep has been shown to be a crucial piece of optimal sports performance and recovery. However, many athletes can be affected by partial sleep deprivation (PSD) which can “negatively affect athlete’s physical and cognitive performances” (2). This decrease in sleep quality and quantity in athletes could be more common in competitive periods such as race weekends or training camps, based around travel and pre-competition stress.
- Various studies have found that nap opportunity has a beneficial effect on physical performance and attention as well as on perception of fatigue, sleep and stress (2).
- Getting a nap in has shown to improve short-term maximal performance in multiple studies.
General guidelines to follow:
- To maximize sleep time and make up for possible sleep deprivation, try including a nap the afternoon of a hard workout.
- To see the most benefits of a recovery nap, shoot for at least 35 minutes.