How Much Sleep Does My Body Need After My Swim Workout?

by SwimSwam 0

May 26th, 2016 Lifestyle, Masters, Opinion

Courtesy of P2 Life, a SwimSwam partner. 

Getting the right amount of sleep is something that you should make a priority if you’re trying to compete at elite levels. Swimming demands a significant amount of energy and exertion from the body, and one of the ideal times to recover from strenuous workouts is during a good night’s sleep. Let’s talk about how much sleep your body needs after a swim workout.

Why is it important?

Sleeping is important for everyone, not just athletes. When our bodies don’t get the right amount, our cognitive performance is impaired, our metabolism is thrown off, and appetite regulation is also compromised, which can lead to overeating or eating the wrong foods. If it’s critical for an average person, it is even more important for an athlete to get the right amount of sleep, especially for the recovery process that is so vital to top performance.

What is the right amount of sleep for a swimmer to get on a daily basis? In a study by Stanford researchers, they discovered that “after obtaining extra sleep, athletes swam a 15-meter meter sprint 0.51 seconds faster, reacted 0.15 seconds quicker off the blocks, improved turn time by 0.10 seconds and increased kick strokes by 5.0 kicks”1. During the study, these swimmers were getting 10 hours of sleep a day for about two months. Upon seeing these results, the researchers have since worked with other athletes at the university and found great results across the board.

During the day

If 10 hours seems like a lot, try to squeeze in a nap between your morning practice and afternoon session. During a study on athletes’ napping patterns and performance “researchers (Waterhouse et al. 2007) found that just a 30 minute nap was enough to increase alertness, decrease sleepiness, and improved their sprint performance”2. Set aside time for a nap when it works with your schedule so you can perform the best you can!

At night

If you’re unable to nap due to a busy work or school schedule, try to add on an extra hour or two to your nighttime sleep routine. Sleeping a full night’s schedule allows your body to recover and repair from any muscle damage that occurred during the day.. You’ll also want to properly fuel your body for a good night’s rest with a nutritious pre-bedtime meal that has the right protein mix (casein and whey) as well as a good amount of vitamins and minerals. A glass of milk or nutritious shake are good options that won’t keep you up with indigestion, and will refuel your body with the right vitamins and minerals.

Before a meet

When you’re traveling for a meet, it’s even more important to adhere to good sleep habits. In a 2011 study with sleep patterns and athletes’ performance, results showed that athletes of individual sports, like swimming, experienced more sleep disturbances the night before the event than those athletes playing a team sport. And these same athletes also reported effects such as a “bad mood the following day, increased daytime sleepiness, and worse performance in the competition or game”3.

So take a look at your schedule and find ways to weave in more sleep, even if it’s just a half hour nap a few times a week. You’ll definitely see your performance improve!

P2 Life 2016 Bio banner

About P2Life

P2Life is family owned, performance-based, nutritional supplement company that was designed for swimmers, by swimmers. P2Life takes great care in ensuring that every batch of their performance line is tested to be free of banned and illegal substances.

Over the past couple years, athletes taking P2Life products have had some astounding results. See below for more.

P2Life’s Proven Success – Numbers Don’t Lie:

  • Over 40% of the USA Men’s National team that were taking P2Life products brought home 11 medals in total. Seven of those were gold medals.
  • 700+ Master Swimming World Records have been set by P2Life Master Athletes.
  • P2Life Founder Tim Shead, achieved his lifetime best in swimming at the age of 60. He actually swam faster at 60 than at age 22 when he was trying for the Olympic Team.
  • Over 600+ of 5 out of 5-star reviews P2Life has received from verified buyers who have purchased our products. (That’s a higher rating than the iPhone 6).
  • The percentage of P2Life Masters athletes who have been inducted into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame.
  • Over 80 National Age Group Records have been set by athletes taking P2Life products.
    A 100% pass rate for P2Life products that have undergone 3rd party testing, and have been certified free of banned or illegal substances.
  • Every batch made, is sent and tested, safe.
  • P2Life has worked with prestigious athletes including Ricky Berens, Brendan Hansen, Tyler Clary, Rich Burns, Laura Val, David Guthrie, Michael Andrew, Rick Collela, Richard Abrahams, Davis Tarwater and Tyler McGill and many more.

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Waterhouse, J., G. Atkinson, B. Edwards, and T. Reilly (2007). The role of a short post-lunch nap in improving cognitive, motor, and sprint performance in participants with partial sleep deprivation. J. Sports Sci. 25:1557-66.


Courtesy of  P2Life, a SwimSwam ad partner.

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