Following competition or heavy training, athletes can suffer from increase muscle soreness, impaired neuromuscular function, heightened inflammation and increased feelings of fatigue. This may be further exacerbated if sleep is compromised or lost during the recovery period, given the similar negative influences of sleep loss on human physiology. At present, evidence to support the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation or restriction on markers of recovery is strong, however evidence to support the beneficial effects of sleep extension is lacking. Sleep extension has been shown to improve measures of physical performance in basketballers and aid in the recovery of neuromuscular function following sleep loss, however its role in recovery following heavy training or competition is not fully understood.
This webinar will detail the effects of training and competition in physical markers relevant to recovery and performance in team-sport athletes and then compare those effects with the detrimental influence of sleep loss on aspects of cognitive function, metabolism and human physiology. The webinar will then present current evidence on the influence of sleep extension on markers of recovery and physical performance and the varying techniques utilized by athletes and the general population to increase sleep time. Listeners will then be provided with detailed information as to current best-practice techniques to improve sleep that will maximize athletic recovery and performance.
The recording is of a webinar presented by ESSA on 6 September 2017.
Presented by Mr Nathan Pitchford B.Ex.Sci (HONS), MHPS, ESSAM, AES, AEP
Mr Nathan Pitchford is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with ESSA who is currently completing his PhD with Victoria University and the Western Bulldogs Football Club, where he also serves as a Assistant Sports Scientist. Nathan is also the Head Strength Coach for the Footscray Bulldogs VFL team, and Level Two Strength and Conditioning Coach with ASCA. In his ~5 years working in high performance sport, Nathan has been involved in a National Youth Championship at AFL Tasmania, which included providing sport science and strength and conditioning services for more than 10 AFL draftees. Nathan has also experiences success at the highest levels being part of the performance team that achieves both VFL Premiership and AFL Premier Success.
Nathan undertook his Bachelor and Honours degrees in Exercise Science at the University of Tasmania before moving on to complete a Masters of High Performance Sport at the Australian Catholic University. Nathan’s current position combines a PhD and applied research role investigating the relationship between sleep, training and recovery in team-sport athletes, while also providing day-to-day sport science and strength and conditioning services to athletes playing both the AFL and VFL level of Australian Rules football. Nathan will utilise a combination of his current knowledge in the field of sleep and recovery and his applied skills working with athlete populations to provide ESSA members with important take-away messages and a more informed outlook on the role of sleep in recovery.
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