Is sleep an under-rated part of your fitness training program?

Sleep more and improve your martial arts performance... do you like the sound of that?

On this page we explain why resting enough is vital for good athletic performance.

And we give you some tips for how to get more rest.

how being tired affects your athletic performance

taekwondo sparring

First up... your movement skills are not as good when you're tired.

So your taekwondo kicks are less accurate and less controlled. And you are more likely to get injured.

(In fact if someone is very tired their motor skills are as bad as if they are over the legal alcohol limit to drive!)

Secondly... your brain's reaction time goes down.

So when you see the twitch of your sparring opponent's hip or shoulder to tell you they are going to kick... react a fraction too late with the counter.

And thirdly... your mental strength is lower

If you're tired you're more likely to be grumpy and emotional and not learn so easily.

You feel fatigued more quickly and it's difficult to find the deep spirit you need.

So... when it comes to the tough stuff...

...when you feel like you have no more to give... and you have to dig deep and push yourself beyond what you thought you could do...'s tougher than ever!

how much sleep do you need?

For most adults 7-9 hours each night is fine. For teenagers 9-10 hours is better.

But for athletes with tough training schedules... may need up to 2 hours more each night.

This is because during intense training periods your body needs time to rest and repair.

And your mind needs time to go over the stuff you learned in training.
To think about it, sort through it, and to put it into your long term memory bank.

Sleeping also stimulates growth hormone which helps your body to build muscles and boosts your immune system.

This means you are physically stronger and you get sick less often.

So our advice...

...when you're training hard for a grading or competition.

Get to bed early and boost your taekwondo performance!

ideas for helping you sleep

  • Get into a routine- try to stick to the same bedtime each night
  • Avoid coffee, alcohol and big meals for at least 2-3 hours before bed.
  • Turn the TV or computer off at least half an hour before bed. This gives your brain a chance to wind down. Maybe do some light stretches or meditation instead - take some time to reflect on your day.
  • If you're training hard and studying late- try to fit in a half hour nap in the middle of the day. Just don't let your boss catch you ;-)

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