5 Ways Sleep Affects Athletic Performance (and what you can do about it)

by Patrick Larcom

Dr Tracy Davenport Sleep and Athletic PerformanceAt the 2019 “What Works Summit”, held the first weekend in February, the focus was “Training and Recovery” with expert presenters from inside and outside rowing. If you were unable to make the conference or want to learn more about what was covered, be sure to checkout our blog where we're posting content and questions from the weekend. Here is a post on how sleep affects performace based on the presentation by Dr. Tracy Davenport. Keep an eye out for more coach education content on the IRL blog and social media.

Love talking about rowing? Want more than a weekend? Come to the Institute for Rowing Leadership and pack years of learning into one intense year! The IRL is accepting applications on a rolling basis until April 1st, 2019.
 
Check out our course catalogue, download the application and find more information on our website or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
What Coaches said were some key takeaways from Tracy's presentation:
  • How critical sleep is, and ways coaches can implement healthier sleep schedules

  • How to think about your sleep schedule and maximize your sleep during that time

  • How sleep can help clear your brain, declutter it from the day

  • Relationship between alzheimer's and sleep

Interested in Tracy's answers to follow up questions from coaches at the conference? Want to listen to the audio recording of Tracy's presentation or checkout her 1-page takeaway? Be sure to "Read More" below!

Dr. Davenport is passionate about speaking to coaches and teams about ways they can use the latest research on healthy behaviors to reach their peak performance. She can be contacted at: Tracyshealthyliving.com or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click here for the following:

Follow Up Questions:

Dr. Davenport, what can I do to help with sleep if I don't have a consistent schedule?  I have some early mornings each week, and some late nights.

This is a great question! A variety of factors make up good health and peak performance. When it comes to sleep, this is also true and not getting enough rest is rarely related to just one reason, such as an inconsistent schedule.

  1. If you have an inconsistent schedule, the number one thing you can do (for yourself and your team) is to understand the importance of sleep. When you are convicted in your beliefs, it is amazing the changes that can be made to meet your goals. In other words, are you sure you need to practice before dawn, or is this an outdated concept based on the way things have always been done? Are your late nights by choice or are there some activities that happen late at night that can happen earlier if you are making your sleep a priority?

  2. Keeping a consistent bedtime routine is also important, even if it happens at different times on different days. This routine will be a signal to your brain and body that it is time to settle down and enter into sleep.  Create a bedtime routine that you follow, regardless of when you are heading to bed.

  3. Look at  your eating and drinking routines which can also contribute to a lack of quality rest. For example, if you are going to have a late meeting or class, do you find yourself drinking coffee in the late afternoon or after dinner to carry you through? Or do you find that you eating more than you should before you go to bed?

Inconsistent schedules can also cause us to abandon an exercise routine. If we are feeling tired from a late night, it can be hard to exercise the next morning, and yet we know that exercise and getting outdoors can help us sleep better. If you find this to be a problem for you, can you reschedule your exercise to lunch time instead on those days you are too tired in the morning?

 

ResizedImage100100 IRL SealLove talking about rowing? Want more than a weekend? 
 
Come to the Institute for Rowing Leadership and pack years of learning into one intense year! The IRL is accepting applications on a rolling basis until April 1st, 2019.
 
Check out our course catalogue, download the application and find more information on our website or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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