Effect of Sleep on Body Performance

With busy working, training and social lives these days sleep is often overlooked and is given the backburner for most who feel they ‘don’t need’ sufficient sleep.  For the purpose of this blog post we are using research based upon athlete performance. However lets look at how it applies to even a mother of two or for those us who don't see ourselves as athletes whatsoever. 


Getting a good night’s sleep has been shown to improve athletic, physical and mental performance. We all know how grumpy we can get when we've had a poor run of sleep. The use of extended sleeping time has been explored in past research within athletes who habitually endure sleep deprivation or experience significant sleep debt. Comparing athletes who were sleep deprived on a 4-week baseline sleep pattern to the same group of athletes who then had a 7 week period of extended sleep each night showed improved results in performance. Basketball performance measures were enhanced (23), sprint times were faster and shooting accuracy improved by 9% coupled with decreased reaction times, reported “sleepiness” and improved profile of mood states (Mah CD, et al. 2011). 

'But what does this have to do with me losing weight, getting strong and just being healthy?'

Lets look at it from another angle.

Simply look at your own personal lifestyle. With better sleep comes better choices in food. Your training is more effective as you have the energy to push harder and lets face it.. you're in a better mood overall. 

Recommended Sleep?

Research has shown that between 7-9 hours’ sleep depending on the activity level of the individual is recommended each night, which corresponds with the 7–9 h recommended by the National Sleep Foundation for healthy sleep. Some research suggests that sleep deprivation increases levels of stress hormone, cortisol. Sleep deprivation has also been seen to decrease production of glycogen and carbohydrates that are stored for energy use during physical activity. In short, less sleep increases the possibility of fatigue, low energy, and poor focus at game time. It may also slow recovery post-game (sleepfondation.org).

Getting less than the recommended sleep time resulting in acute sleep deprivation can lead to the following.

  • Elevated Blood Sugar
  • Elevated Ghrelin (Hunger Hormone)
  • Impaired cognition
  • Impaired Recovery.

So are you getting enough sleep? Are you struggling to put practices into place to develop a healthier approach to exercise. This is exactly what one of our clients Ciara was struggling with. But with the right exercise approaches in place and by eating MORE. She got to where she personally wanted to be. 

So if this is something that interests you make sure to click the button below and Apply for your FREE strategy session. 


  1. Mah CD, Mah KE, Keziran EJ, and Dement WC. The effects of sleep extension on the athletic performance of collegiate basketball players. Sleep 34: 943–950, 2011.
  2. National sleep foundation. 2017. Sleep, Athletic Performacne and Reovery. (online) Available at: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/sleep-athletic-performance-and-recovery
Larry Brady