In our previous blogs we have discussed ‘How do you plan for those early tee times?’, exploring how sleep quality and duration have a part to play in performance on the course and we’ve presented that sleep is one of the moderators of internal load.
How do you ensure you give yourself the best chance of a full, undisturbed, night of sleep?
By looking after your ‘Sleep Hygiene’, that’s how!
Sleep hygiene is a recent buzz phrase in sports performance circles, that again, falls into the marginal gains category that you can easily control and use to put effective strategies in place.
In this blog we focus on 10 simple tips that you can use to optimize your sleep both at home and when on the road traveling around to different tournaments.
Click on the infographic below to explore our ten sleep hygiene tips for golfers to help improve your sleep and ultimately allow you to reduce internal load and perform better on the course when it counts.
Poor sleep quality and duration can negatively impact “performance, motivation, perception of effort and cognition as well as numerous other biological functions”2. Consider how different the same workout might feel after a very good night’s sleep and after a poor night’s sleep – and how this will also affect the fatigue you experiences after training. In terms of optimizing the internal load you experience, it could be valuable to monitor your sleep to better understand if it is either helping or hindering your response to training. This could potentially reduce your risk of illness, injury and overtraining.
Sleep strategies should be of particular interest to golfers as inadequate quantity and quality of sleep has be shown to have negative impact on recovery (e.g., from training sessions) and on both physical (e.g., accuracy and submaximal strength1) and neurocognitive performance (e.g., attention, learning, and executive function3). This is highly relevant to golfers due to them using a combination of these attributes to practice, train and compete.
Golfers, like other athletes, face unique hurdles when trying to optimize their sleep; practice, S&C, and competition schedules, travel, and competition anxiety may all affect sleep quality and / or quantity4,5. Despite the need for further research to understand the impact of poor sleep on golf-specific outcome measures, golfers should try and put in place strategies, and adopt consistent behaviours, that avoid the potential negative effects of poor sleep.
Note: The use of pharmacological interventions should only be implemented following clinical instructions, as there is a lack of evidence among healthy and athletic populations on their use.
Your team on AMI Sports: Golf
At AMI Sports, we highly recommend logging your sleep data and discussing your strategy for various tournament scenarios with your coaching team. That includes your golf coach, S&C coach and any other relevant support team members (including parents where applicable). To do this effectively, remember to visit the ‘Team Members’ section in your profile and add relevant coaches into ‘My Team’ using their email address. At the start of each week they will automatically receive your weekly AMI Sports: Golf monitoring report to their inbox.
The goal of monitoring your sleep should always be to find ways to improve it if necessary, and ultimately, to make sure your response to training and any golf practice / competition is optimal.
- Fullagar, H. H. K., Skorski, S., Duffield, R., Hammes, D., Coutts, A. J., & Meyer, T. (2015). Sleep and Athletic Performance: The Effects of Sleep Loss on Exercise Performance, and Physiological and Cognitive Responses to Exercise. Sports Medicine, 45(2), 161–186. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-014-0260-0
- Halson, S. (2014) ‘Monitoring Training load to understand fatigue in athletes’. Sports Medicine, 44(2), pp. 1-9.
- Killgore, W. D. S. (2010). Effects of sleep deprivation on cognition. Progress in Brain Research, 185, 105–129. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-444-53702-7.00007-5
- Lastella, M., Lovell, G. P., & Sargent, C. (2014). Athletes’ precompetitive sleep behaviour and its relationship with subsequent precompetitive mood and performance. European Journal of Sport Science, 14(S1), 123–130. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2012.660505
- Sargent, C., Lastella, M., Halson, S. L., & Roach, G. D. (2014). The impact of training schedules on the sleep and fatigue of elite athletes. Chronobiology International, 31(10), 1160–1168. https://doi.org/10.3109/07420528.2014.957306
Dr Ben Langdown is a Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching at The Open University and has published various journal papers in the area of golf and sports science. Specifically, Ben's research focuses on athlete monitoring, warm-up protocols, and training interventions in the sport of golf. Ben is also a Strength and Conditioning Coach for England Golf and over the past 15 years has provided biomechanics and S&C support to golfers from amateurs through to European (Men’s and Ladies’) Tours and a European Senior Tour Season Champion. Ben has presented at 4 World Golf Fitness Summits and the 2018 World Scientific Congress of Golf, where he also acted as an invited review panel member supporting education for >150 academics/coaches. He has delivered various invited keynote workshops with international organisations, including England Golf, The PGAs of GB&I, Spain, Czech Republic and Slovakia with all adopting his applied approaches. Most recently, Ben has developed the AMI Sports: Golf athlete monitoring app allowing further insight into golfers’ practice, tournaments, training and daily wellbeing.
Tim Roberts is the Director of Science + Innovation at Therabody and the Co-Founder of Scientific Athlete. At Therabody, Tim specializes in the development and execution of effective science and innovation strategies that translate to improved business functions. Prior to this role, Tim was Senior Sports Scientist with the Gatorade Sports Science Institute and was based at their laboratory at IMG Academy (2011-2020). He continues to work with golfers at every level in both lab and field settings, whilst collaborating with several international golf organisations. Furthermore, Tim works with professional golfers providing sports science, nutrition, and strength and conditioning support.
Tim has presented two invited presentations at World Golf Fitness Summits and at the inaugural Golf and Health Symposium in 2018. These presentations covered the application of research into nutrition and hydration, sport science methodology and athlete monitoring in golf
In addition to this work in golf he has led the development and execution of both research and applied strategies for athlete monitoring in several other sports including with the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program, and elite basketball, soccer, and baseball organisations.
Dr. Alex Ehlert is an Assistant Professor of Exercise Science at North Carolina Wesleyan College. He is a former competitive golfer that competed at the NCAA Division I level. During his time as a competitive golfer, Alex recognized the gap between the available sport science information and how it was being applied in practice by golfers and golf coaches. This spurred his interest in 1) conducting research on sport science for golf and 2) disseminating quality information to golfers and golf coaches. He has published several research articles related to the associations between various physical characteristics and golf clubhead speed and the effects of warm-ups and strength & conditioning programs on golf performance. These are areas that Alex will continue to study moving forward. Alex has also conducted research within other areas of exercise and sport science. Some notable topics include fitness testing for soccer/football goalkeepers, the role of psychological factors on gastrointestinal symptoms in endurance athletes, and the effects of caffeine mouth rinsing on exercise performance. In addition to future research with golf, Alex will soon be conducting research on field-based methods for testing and monitoring the physical characteristics of team sport athletes. Beyond research, Alex has practical experience working with competitive golfers, team sport athletes, and clinical populations as a sport scientist and exercise physiologist. He intends to continue providing sport science support to golfers and other athletes for the foreseeable future, in addition to his role as an assistant professor.