Sleep Deprivation ON
Athletics and Exercise



     It is well known by athletes that sleep and athletics appear to go hand in hand.  Many stories have revealed that athletes constantly talk about "playing tired" or just can't finish because of being tired.  Tired is such an ambiguous word.  So does tired indicate sleep deprivation or is this meaning of the phrase indicate fatigue?  Although these words are commonly used interchangeably, an important distinction must be made between fatigue and tired.  Fatigue is referred to as overusing the body in and becoming exhausted.  Being tired is from the lack of sleep.  An athlete can get the perfect amount of sleep but still become fatigued during a workout.

    Being tired is directly linked to sleep deprivation.  This is important to athletes, especially ones that are involved with extensive travel.  People playing on a lack of sleep may not be performing at their optimal level.  Interestingly, acute loss of sleep does not dramatically the physiology of a person at rest.  But reports have shown that psychological malfunction occurs.  Physiology and psychology are important factors in athletic performance.  Therefore, Martin (1981) performed an experiment that looked at both the physiological and psychological effects of acute sleep loss on heavy exercise.  In the study he concluded:

    To relate these findings, physical fatigue will decrease the performance of an athlete.  But being tired from sleep deprivation will decrease the output of an athlete.  It is important to note a person physically tired may induce the change; but if an individual is mentally tired, the psychological changes may induce the deficient performance.

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