Footballers, go to sleep!

By | October 28, 2022

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Everyone needs a good night's sleep. And footballers with their hectic schedules, the domestic games, the international tournaments, tours and friendlies, need sleep much more than many people realise.

But why? What is the science behind sleep? Written by Seb Stafford-Bloor, illustrated by Philippe Fenner.

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Music sourced from epidemicsound.com
Additional footage sourced from freestockfootagearchive.com

#Sleep #SportScience


Football never stops even when the Domestic season finishes the calendar is Filled with International tournaments Tours and friendlies the combination of Which drags players back and forth Across multiple time zones and keeps Them on duty for almost the whole year Recovery has never been more important And of course that starts with a good Night's rest but for footballers sleep Is much more important than many people Realize [Music] First let's acknowledge some of the Challenges for professional footballers There are the unsociable hours the Suffering from potential jet lag and the Night spent away from home in unfamiliar Beds and surroundings but crucial League Footballers also exist in a high Pressure environment imagine trying to Sleep after 90 adrenaline fueled minutes Or after a game in which you've scored a Dramatic winner or made a costly mistake All your social media mentions make for Difficult reading the these are problems Which have to be overcome because sleep Matters a lot Dr Mita Singh is a Board-certified psychiatrist and sleep Medicine physician concentrating in the Applied science of performance sleep Medicine and mental strength she has Worked as a consultant for over a Dozen Years working with professional sports

Organizations in and outside of the United States and she recently spoke to Tifo football as part of her appearance At the 2022 World football Summit if You're sleeping well you have optimal Reaction times and optimal accuracy she Explains the less sleep you get the Slower you become the less accurate you Are decision making becomes more Difficult and the chance of injury Increases their reaction speed is Self-explanatory but accuracy in this Context refers to a player's ability to Respond to cues in and around their Environment the queue is a detail it Might be an open teammate or a pressing Defender the less sleep a player gets The worse they become at not only Recognizing but respond funding to Events within a game and to quite some Degree too Dr Singh explains A normal reaction time is about a Quarter of a second if you were to get Six hours of sleep instead of eight it Would triple for a professional Footballer at the highest level of the Game this could be a very significant Difference in simple form the science is Easy to follow the longer you're awake The more the chemical adenosine Accumulates in the brain the more it Accumulates the more the need for Sleep Increases and the more inattentive the Brain becomes it's one of the reasons

Why caffeine is the world's most popular Drug caffeine targets the same area of The brain in which adenosine accumulates Masking its effects it's why an early Morning cup of coffee brings a feeling Of alertness and improved reaction speed Unfortunately caffeine does not prevent Adenosine from accumulating meaning that Once the coffee wears off a Sleep-deprived person is likely to feel A significant slump as the higher level Of adenosine takes effect Sleep deprivation is also cumulative and That's another challenge only by Sleeping can the body consume the Adenosine and lessen its effect on the Brain So if a football player experiences long Periods of insufficient sleep their body Is being denied the opportunity to Consume adenosine their brain will Suffer the effects of sleep deprivation And they will worsen over time until a Sleep pattern is improved and corrected And the adenosine is entirely consumed Most people can relate to the Sluggishness that comes with sleep Deprivation in ordinary life whether That's while typing an email watching a Film or just trying to read for a Professional footballer though Particularly one playing at the highest Level where split-second decisions Determine success or failure the

Resulting issues are far more apparent Quality of sleep can be the difference Between timing a tackle perfectly or Committing a foul or a goalkeeper Catching across cleanly or missing it Completely and conceding a goal Not that sleep deprivation confines its Impact solely to the pitch as Dr Singh Describes a lack of sleep will also Affect the prefrontal cortex that's the Part of the brain responsible for Decision making and impairing its Function will impact risk assessment and The ability to multitask those issues Increase the likelihood of injury but Quality of sleep also has the capacity To limit Technical and tactical Development in a player the brain does a Lot of cognitive functioning that helps An athlete and anything they've learned During the day coaching techniques for Example is Consolidated while they sleep Says Dr Singh the metaphor for memory Consolidation she explains is the brain Pressing save on the information that It's acquired throughout the day that Only occurs during sleep meaning that Sleep deprivation has the potential to Damage a player's performance in all Sorts of ways particularly with the Sport growing ever more technical the Importance of sleep is everywhere in Football and much more important than Many might think

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