Rest, especially sleep, is just as important to an athlete as training and nutrition. In fact, sleeping well has a positive impact on our body and mind. On the contrary, sleeping badly due to constant awakenings causes hormonal alterations with negative consequences on the metabolism.
All this causes stress that increases the production of cortisone and over time causes disorders such as water retention, reduction of muscle growth and increase in fat mass, weakening of the immune system. The article Sleep and the athlete: narrative review and 2021 expert consensus recommendations, published in the British journal of sports medicine, gives very interesting answers regarding this important topic, which concerns athletes in all sports.
Below you can read an abstract: "Elite athletes are particularly susceptible to sleep inadequacies, characterized by habitual short sleep (<7 hours / night) and poor sleep quality (eg, sleep fragmentation). Athletic performance is reduced by a night or more without sleep, but the influence on performance of partial sleep restriction over 1-3 nights, a more real-world scenario, remains unclear.
Studies investigating sleep in athletes often suffer from inadequate experimental control, a lack of females and questions concerning the validity of the chosen sleep assessment tools. Research only scratches the surface on how sleep influences athlete health.
Studies in the wider population show that habitually sleeping <7 hours / night increases susceptibility to respiratory infection. Fortunately, much is known about the salient risk factors for sleep inadequacy in athletes, enabling targeted interventions.
For example, athlete sleep is influenced by sport-specific factors (relating to training, travel and competition) and non-s port factors (eg, female gender, stress and anxiety). This expert consensus culminates with a sleep toolbox for practitioners (eg, covering sleep education and screening) to mitigate these risk factors and optimise athlete sleep.
A one-size-fits-all approach to athlete sleep recommendations (eg, 7-9 hours / night) is unlikely ideal for health and performance. We recommend an individualized approach that should consider the athlete's perceived sleep needs.
Research is needed into the benefits of napping and sleep extension (eg, banking sleep)."
Basketball players possess a higher bone mineral, because...
An interesting study published on Springer Link reveals a curiosity: Basketball players possess a higher bone mineral.
The published article is titled: Basketball players possess a higher bone mineral density than matched non-athletes, swimming, soccer, and volleyball athletes: a systematic review and meta-analysis, and below we can read an abstract: "Basketball athletes possess a higher bone mineral density (BMD) than matched non-athletes and swimming, soccer, and volleyball athletes.
Differences appear to be exacerbated with continued training and competition beyond adolescence. The greater BMD in basketball athletes compared to non-athletes , swimming, and soccer athletes is more pronounced in males than females.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine differences in total and regional bone mineral density (BMD) between basketball athletes, non-athletes, and athletes competing in swimming, soccer, and volleyball, considering age and sex.
Methods: PubMed, MEDLINE, ERIC, Google Scholar, and Science Direct were searched. Included studies consisted of basketball players and at least one group of non-athletes, swimming, soccer, or volleyball athletes. BMD data were meta-analyzed.
Cohen's d effect sizes [95% confidence intervals (CI)] were interpreted as: trivial ≤ 0.20, small = 0.20-0.59, moderate = 0.60-1.19, large = 1.20-1.99, and very large ≥ 2.00. Results: Basketball athletes exhibited significantly (p <0.05) higher BMD compared to non-athletes (small-moderate effect in total-body: d = 1.06, CI 0.55, 1.56; spine: d = 0.67, CI 0.40, 0.93; lumbar spine : d = 0.96, CI 0.57, 1.35; upper limbs: d = 0.70, CI 0.29, 1.10; lower limbs: d = 1.14, CI 0.60, 1.68; pelvis: d = 1.16, CI 0.05, 2.26; trunk: d = 1.00 , CI 0.65, 1.35; and femoral neck: d = 0.57, CI 0.16, 0.99), swimming athletes (moderate-very large effect in total-body: d = 1.33, CI 0.59, 2.08; spine: d = 1.04, CI 0.60 , 1.48; upper limbs: d = 1.19, CI 0.16, 2.22; lower limbs: d = 2.76, CI 1.45, 4.06; pelvis d = 1.72, CI 0.63, 2.81; and trunk: d = 1.61, CI 1.19, 2.04), soccer athletes (small effect in total-body: d = 0.58, CI 0.18, 0.97), and volleyball athletes (small effect in total-body: d = 0.32, CI 0.00, 0.65; and pelvis: d = 0.48, CI 0.07, 0.88).
Differences in total and regional BMD between groups increased with age and appeared greater in males than in females. Conclusion: Basketball athletes exhibit a greater BMD compared to non-athletes, as well as athletes involved in swimming, soccer, and volleyball."