South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation

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Role of Sleep in Performance and Recovery of Athletes: A Review Article

RE Venter


An increasing body of evidence indicates that sleep plays a major role in the performance and recovery of athletes, yet all the complex processes of sleep are still unknown. Understanding the effects of sleep, disturbed sleep and sleep deprivation, promotes a deeper appreciation of its impact on athletes. This review provides insights into the role of sleep in physiological growth and repair, neuro-muscular performance, cognitive functioning and memory, emotional well-being, and immune function. Issues regarding the amount of sleep needed, as well as factors affecting quality sleep, are discussed.

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