A Top Neuroscientist On Why Athletes Need Sleep

Right in the midst of Wimbledon, it’s hard not to get caught up in the febrile atmosphere, the sheer passion and power of the top stars of the game. While a lot of emphases is placed on training, luck, and determination, this video unpicks one of the slightly less glamorous elements of success — athletes need sleep, a lot of it.

From Roger Federer sleeping 12 hours a night to Usain Bolt’s famous sleep and napping schedule, sleep is crucial to an athlete’s success. While it’s obviously vital for all of us, neuroscientist Matthew Walker breaks down why athletes need sleep more than the rest of us — and how we can learn from their secrets.

It’s not just about getting rest before a big event (Usain Bolt set a major record after having been awake for only 35 minutes), it’s all about the recovery for exhausted and inflamed muscles.

You can watch the whole video here:

We all know that sleep helps us feel more rested and ready to take on big challanges, but few of us understand the full extent of how we are affected. It’s not just about injury risk, even our ability to sweat and cool ourselves down is controlled by how much we sleep. That means there’s no excuse not to get those eight hours — or more.