Sleep and Athletic Performance: Impacts on Physical Performance, Mental Performance, Injury Risk and Recovery, and Mental Health

Sleep Med Clin. 2020 Mar;15(1):41-57. doi: 10.1016/j.jsmc.2019.11.005.


Research has characterized the sleep of elite athletes and attempted to identify factors associated with athletic performance, cognition, health, and mental well-being. Sleep is a fundamental component of performance optimization among elite athletes, yet only recently embraced by sport organizations as an important part of training and recovery. Sleep plays a crucial role in physical and cognitive performance and is an important factor in reducing risk of injury. This article aims to highlight the prevalence of poor sleep, describe its impacts, and address the issue of sport culture surrounding healthy sleep.

Keywords: Insomnia; Performance; Sleep; Sport.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletes / psychology*
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Athletic Injuries / psychology
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Athletic Performance / psychology
  • Humans
  • Mental Health*
  • Sleep / physiology*