Zycle (Spain) - In our daily life we tend to be quick, we tend to always hurry, we tend to rest less. However when you want to excel at something, in this case, endurance sports you should not avoid the importance of rest and sleep. It might sound obvious, but many people tend to neglect the importance and health benefits of having adequate resting periods.
The most noticeable benefit you could feel from getting a good night’s sleep is that you have more energy. But what are the other benefits that you do not necessarily feel? Here, we list some of these and give you some advice how to get better at resting.
A study was conducted in Australia:
“The researchers recruited nine competitive endurance cyclists and triathletes and put them through a series of endurance tests while manipulating their nightly amount of sleep, first allowing them their normal 6.5 to 7 hours of sleep a night; then extending their sleep by 30 percent, so they were sleeping an average of 8.25 to 8.5 hours a night; and again after restricting their sleep 30 percent, leaving them with just under 5 hours of sleep a night.” The riders were considerably slower after just two nights of sleep restriction, they declined roughly 3 percent on their TT performance. However, when the group was allowed to sleep more, the results came back to the average value, and got back the extra 3 percent.
But it is not just pure athletic performance that improves by the quality of sleep:
Some studies and findings show that increased sleep leads to less chance for developing diabetes, significantly reduces cortisol levels which is a stress hormone, maintain healthy circulation and stay at a healthy body weight
Try to aim for roughly 8 hours of sleep every night, and make sure you get some deep sleep as well, because that is high quality resting. In deep sleep you are recovering the best. It is not just the quantity of sleep but also the quality that counts. This is important to keep in mind. You can improve your quality of sleep by sleeping in a colder environment, avoiding light sources to disturb you, sleep with earplugs to reduce the noise that affects you and get a comfortable mattress.
This advice should give you a good indication on how and why to improve your resting. Now go make sure you train hard but also rest hard!