During the season, football players have plenty of commitments that fill up their schedules. School, homework, practice, games, social life and family time are all everyday priorities.

But there is one more thing athletes must fit into their busy lives if they want to be successful: Sleep.

Getting a full night’s sleep improves overall health and provides the body with the proper foundation to perform and recover at a high level.

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Here are three ways that sleep affects athletic performance and recovery.

  • Ability to focus. An athlete who cannot focus will struggle to execute assignments, develop skills and improve overall skill sets. Being fully rested allows athletes to have heightened reaction times and awareness levels while making fewer mental errors.
  • Improved overall health. Sleep is a major ingredient to an individual’s health, both mentally and physically. Sleep plays a huge role in reducing stress, limiting fatigue and simply feeling better in general.
  • Quicker recovery. Exercise depletes energy levels and fatigues muscle. Sleep is the body’s opportunity to recuperate and get some gas back in the tank. Combining sufficient sleep with other recovery methods or treatments allows for quicker and more thorough recovery.

No matter what your schedule is like, make sure to give your body six to eight hours of solid sleep each night, then watch how it makes a difference each day in athletic – and academic – performance.

Reps will be crisper, and concepts will make more sense.

Don’t neglect your body and mind from the rest it needs.

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