While almost everyone agrees on the importance of regular sleep to sport performance, it seems nobody can agree on the right amount.
Sleep is a vital element in your cricket training plan no matter what your goals. According to studies (and probably your own common sense) the main reasons are all preventative:
- Sleep deprivation reduces your work capacity by dropping your energy stores (glycogen) efficiency.
- Sleep deprivation reduces concentration and attention span.
- Sleep deprivation increases recovery time between games by raising cortisol levels.
None of which are very good if you are trying to get more runs and wickets.
The problem is nobody really knows how much sleep we need for performance. Estimates vary from 4-12 hours and recommendations tend to be in the 8-10 hour range.
On top of this, we have all heard tales of great players who have been out all night, turned up the next day and scored a century.
How much sleep do cricketers need?
Everyone is different. As a general rule the more regular sleep you get the better but the only way to know for sure is to experiment. Personally, I find 8 hours is fine as long as I go to bed and get up at roughly the same time every day.
Also, don't panic if you get a bad night sleep. It often happens especially before big games. Your body is incredibly adaptable and if you are fit and confident through regular training you can get away with it.
Sleep is a vital tool, make the most of it's healing power by getting at least as much as you need.
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