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Good Stuff About Sleep...

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By Dr. Chad Asplund (usatriathlon.org)

 

Most multisport athletes understand that sleep is important, but in the balance of life, work and training, sleep is often the first thing to go. 


In addition, travel and the timing of competitions can further limit sleep. Unfortunately, many athletes have poor quality sleep or simply do not obtain a sufficient quantity of sleep. 


Why do we need sleep? How is sleep structured? How much sleep is needed? What happens to performance if sleep is sacrificed? How can one improve sleep? These are all questions that will be answered in this article....

 


While there are several theories on why people sleep, it is primarily for brain rest, regeneration and memory formation. However, for the endurance athlete, possibly the greatest value of sleep may be for recovery from training. Often the rate-limiting step for the busy triathlete is not his or her ability to apply a training load but for the individual to be able to successfully adapt to the load applied by obtaining sufficient sleep for recovery.


One of the main reasons sleep is so important for recovery is our bodies’ delivery of a pulse of growth hormone during deep sleep. Growth hormone is a small protein made in the pituitary gland and secreted into the blood stream. It helps to regulate body composition, body fluids, muscle and bone growth, sugar and fat metabolism and possibly cardiac function. READ MORE



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