Expert: Dr. Lobo Louie, Associate Professor of Department of Physical Education, the Hong Kong Baptist University
If you want to improve your training quality and performance, just increasing the training intensity and frequency is not enough. Establishing a healthy lifestyle is the first step and to do so it starts with having a better sleep at night.
The reason why sleep is important is because it is a significant process for energy recovery and maintaining a healthy physical life cycle. A lack of sleep in the long term can create negative impacts on your body. For example, your immune system can be weakened, your overall physical strength can be weakened and the risk of another symptom can severely increase. Although, technically training without enough sleep would not affect your health, it could still increase the risk of injury. Research proves that having insufficient sleep could bring down one’s sporting ability. Not sleeping for 36 hours will decrease your body’s cardiopulmonary function by 11%, which directly affects your nervous system causing poor muscular coordination.
In order to train well, it is essential to become aware of the importance of sleep. In recent years, many sports journalists suggest that one must have enough sleep before doing any rough or competitive sport. Adults normally need to sleep for 7-9 hours a day while teenagers need 8.5 to 9.25 and primary students require 10-11. During sleep, the best temperature is between 12 and 24C. It is always better to sleep in a darker environment as opposed to one with more light. While people sleep, a comfortable blanket, pillow and wider bed are all things that could increase sleeping quality. sleeping and resting is essential to maintaining great fitness. With enough sleep, training performance will be enhanced and it allows him or her to run at their best level on race day.