Are there any documented studies that show how sleep effects your workouts or athletic performance?

It would seem that more sleep would help and less sleep would hinder performance, but that's just an educated guess. Is there anything out there that documents this or counters this??

3 Answers 3


Sleep is vital to balancing our hormones

Sleep is important to balance hormones that control hunger, metabolism, and weight gain/loss.

Sleeping has also been shown to enhance human growth hormone (HGH) secretion, which is our body's natural anti-aging hormone.

Source: naturalnews.com.

HGH is also important to the development of lean muscle. If you Google around you can find a lot more info on HGH.

For more detailed information about sleep and how it directly affects our hormone balance can be found in this article.

Basically, if you don't get enough sleep, your body won't be able to properly balance your hormones and your body will be all 'out-of-whack'.


As well as being physically fit you also need to be mentally fit. While sleeping you're giving your body and mind time to "repair". If you're tired can you say that you're giving a 100% in the exercise or class your doing? Is your mind drifting off and you start to lack concentration? This could lead to injury.

Everyone is different but a quick Google came up with between 5 - 8 hours of sleep. Check out


You know your body and your limits. Exercise safe :)

  • 1
    Is it bad for you if you sleep more than those 8 hours, let's say 10 hours? Commented Mar 28, 2011 at 7:24

There's plenty of evidence supporting this. As evidenced by experiments on mice, if you're kept awake for long enough, your immune system starts to fail and you'll actually die. Although as you'd expect, you have to be forced to stay awake long enough for this to happen.

In lesser degrees, sleep deprivation can hurt you in all sorts of ways. The first 3 hours or so of nightly sleep (slow-wave sleep) are historically seen as most critical for physical activity, since that's when your body rests and recuperates the most. The rest of your sleep regimen (up to however much sleep works best for you) will help keep up the concentration and mental focus required to perform well and push your body as hard as it will go.

(Source: personal education in psychology & neuroscience)

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