Footballers Sleeping Habits
The 2016 UEFA Euro Championship is well under way, over the last week I’m sure many of us have found out how easy it is to sit back and criticise the players when things aren’t going to plan. Whether it’s a poor pass or missed tackle, football can see the blood pressure of the calmest supporter reach levels which would leave a GP frowning.
Modern football often sees footballers compete in a number of games in a short period of time, especially when they’re competing in an international tournament. With the constant training and 90-minute matches, footballers need an awful lot of energy to handle the rigours of the modern game and play to their full potential. Once the final whistle has blown and their focus switches to their next match, how do these footballers prepare?
Football has witnessed an influx of various sports scientists and coaches whose primary purpose is to ensure footballers get the right amount of nutrients in their body. Whether it’s a carb-filled breakfast or a protein supper, FIFA regularly outlines how crucial it is that footballers keep a strict purpose-built diet.
Leading up to the game can be an anxious time. In order to control anxiety, it is common for players to have an individual routine which can ease their nerves. After a period of time, footballers learn to control their nerves by recognising the warning signs such as butterflies in the stomach, unwanted perspiration, or a dry mouth. Music is a proven method for calming nerves – pre-match changing rooms are often filled with the sound of carefully chosen playlists.
Footballers Sleeping Habits
Athletes in the modern world are constantly looking at the smallest details which can influence their performance. A study carried out by sleep expert Cheri Mah of Stanford University showed that basketball players who increased their sleep duration for upwards of 10 hours per night improved their shot accuracy by 9% and recorded improved sprint and reaction times.
In an interview with popular football magazine Four Four Two, Wayne Rooney explains his sleeping habits:
“I try to get at least eight hours of sleep a night, plus an hour or two in the afternoon. To do your best in training, eight hours is fine. I’m not regimented about it. I can’t lie in bed and force myself to sleep. I’ll wait until I’m tired, normally about 11 or 12, then get up around eight. You do notice the difference if you can’t sleep for that long, which is normally after a night game. You don’t get home until 12 and can’t sleep until about four. Then you’re tired the next day and you can feel it in your performance.”
Those restless nights after a night game which Rooney discusses can weaken the immune system and increase the chances of catching an illness. If you sleep poorly for over 64 hours or more, the strength and power of the body is reduced.
If you’re looking to compete to your full potential, or you simply want to feel more energised throughout the day, we recommend you get a minimum of 8 hours sleep per night.