London, England
Thursday 13th October 2011
It seems a while since this topic last came up, but this week my attentions have turned back to the question of sleep quality, quantity & subsequent effects related to performance.  I'm not really sure why my mind was jogged back to the subject - maybe it was with many of the athletes returning to training after long haul holidays & reporting changes in sleep patterns as a result either of the jet lag or the return to training volumes, or maybe it was because I have been racking up my sleep debt over the last few weeks.

In any case, I found myself contributing to a discussion on sleep's influence on performance in sport on the UK Sports Network group page on LinkedIn.  Before too long I was having a very informative & constructive conversation with a chap who can count sleep high amongst his priorities at work, Johan Terpstra.  Since then we have discussed  clinical experiences of sleep strategies in sport & exchanged several references.  The focus of the citations revolved around Cheri Mah's work from the Stanford Sleep Clinic with her studies on "paying back the sleep debt" & the subsequent benefits to skill execution, such as basketball free-throw accuracy, whilst some of the Harvard Sleep Lab jet lag studies were mentioned too.  We are now also looking to set up an education session for our clinical & coaching staff as a part of our CPD programme.

Johan pointed me towards his blog,, which has some interesting information regarding sleep coaching & furthermore a very informative diagrammatic representation illustrating the benefits of good quality sleep in addition to the cons of sleep deprivation.  It did get me wondering whether the tendency for the Spanish to sleep in the afternoon contributes any to the success they are currently enjoying on the football field!  Click below to view the chart for yourself (you might need to click on the little magnifying glass to zoom in a bit).  

Once I manage to track down more of the references, I will post them on the blog, off to bed!
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