An athlete cannot perform well if he had only three or four hours of sleep last night. No matter his overall ability, technique, power and other things, the more rested opponent, who didn’t spend the last night surfing the net or watching TV, will have him beat. And he will do so with authority more often than not.
This should be evidently clear to anyone who has ever participated in any sport or martial arts like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but the lesson is often lost on the young athletes and the rookies who are just beginning their careers. Even some more experienced athletes, when they reach a certain level of stardom, start to take away from their sleep.
Sleeping is necessary for your body to recover from the hard fight you had at the competition or from the grueling workout session. Without it, the brain and the muscles will not be able to function at their best the next day and you will essentially be “running on fumes”.
Proper sleep, that is, at least seven hours at the end of each day is the recommended minimum amount for a normal individual. However, for BJJ athletes, you may end up needing an hour or two more.
Here is how sleeping and the lack thereof can affect your body and your athletic performance.
Lack of sleep negatively impacts primarily your mental faculties, but your physical functions will suffer as well. Take for example a student who spent the whole night awake studying for the exam. All the material he has read, all the notes he has taken will do him no good if and when he eventually slumps over his desk in total exhaustion.
The same goes for a BJJ athlete. We already said that a fighter who has had the normal 7-8 hours of sleep will do much, much better than the opponent who only had a few hour of shuteye. His reactions, just to name one thing, will be significantly quicker.
Sleeping is necessary also to allow our muscles to replenish their reserve of glycogen. In one study, several male athletes agreed to be deprived of sleep for a few days. Each of them exhibited a significant improvement in their athletic performance from only a 30-minute nap after lunch, which goes to say that even a short nap, especially after training, can do wonders for you.
Another importance of sleeping well is that it brings testosterone in males to optimal levels. You already know that, while we sleep, our body does not shut itself down entirely, but only certain parts. Some functions are still working, albeit at a slower pace, while other functions of our organisms kick in during the sleep.
A perfect example of that is how our body turns the testosterone production up a notch and “injects” extra testosterone in our system in rhythmic cycles. What this means is that, the more you uninterrupted your sleeping pattern is, the more testosterone will your body produce.
So, yes, that morning erection or increased libido you feel when you wake up in the morning, mean you had a damn good sleep last night.
Okay, now onto the important question. How much sleep does a BJJ athlete actually need? It really depends on the individual. Some people can function just well with only a few hours of sleeping, but that’s usually doesn’t last very long. You can probably get by on 3-4 hours of rest for two, maybe three days, but you will quickly see for yourself that you need double that amount probably.
All in all, a BJJ athlete should have at least 8 hours of sleep over the course of the night and maybe even more. In addition short naps, even if only 10-15 minutes long, are also extremely helpful, so if you truly want to keep your body from collapsing on the mat, let it rest and it will show you its gratitude.
Feb 08, 2016 0
Mar 08, 2016 0
Oct 01, 2017 0
Jan 19, 2016 0Kimura lock is one of the most effective and brutal submission holds in...