4 ways sleep improves your physical performance, according to science

  • Emma Sweeney and Ian Walsh
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When we think about what makes great athletes, few of us think sleep can play a role. But many of the world’s best athletes say sleep is an essential part of their training routine and key to helping them perform well.

Serena Williams, for example, makes it a point to get eight hours of sleep every night. NBA star LeBron James strives for eight to 10 hours a night, while NFL legend Tom Brady says he goes to bed early and gets at least nine hours of sleep.

It is not surprising, because sleep plays a major role in Metabolism, growth and tissue repair (like our muscles), and ensures that memory, reaction time, and decision-making function optimally.

All of these processes affect athletic performance.

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