If you are training hard, you may not understand how important rest is to your fitness goals. After all, it can be incredibly tempting to push yourself in an attempt to build bigger muscles, more endurance and skills which are beyond compare. However, you may find that if you are short on sleep your performance will not only fail to improve, it may also go downhill more quickly than you could imagine.

Sleep does more than give us energy, although that is an important benefit. If you are fatigued, you will not be able to train as hard or as long and this can make your workouts downright ineffective. You will find that whether you are performing drills or you are playing in a game, without energy you will be unable to keep up with the other players. That can cause you to miss important passes or chances to score and can bring your entire team down. Obviously, this is not something you want so it is important to go into each game well rested and full of energy.

But there is a lot to be said for getting consistent quality sleep as often as possible instead of simply before a game. Scientists have been researching the effects of chronic sleep deficit on the human body and they have come up with some alarming findings. Being short on sleep can lead to increased chances of illness since your immune system will eventually become run down and will stop being able to fight infection so easily.

If you think that you are as healthy as a horse and that illness will not be an issue, think about injury. A cold may come and go but a severe injury can not only put you on the sidelines for the rest of the season, it can actually end your athletic career. Basketball is a sport where it can be incredibly easy to injure your knees or damage the muscles and tendons in your legs. If you are fatigued you will be unable to keep balanced as easily, deal with turns as quickly and you may end up with a severe injury such as an ACL tear. That is an injury which can end an athletic career in a heartbeat if it is bad enough.

Lack of sleep can also affect your judgment and mental clarity as well. This may make it difficult for you to follow the flow of play and put yourself into a position where you can benefit your team the most. You may end up missing a chance to block an opposing player or be too slow to set yourself up to get a basket. It truly is amazing how much lack of sleep can hamper your performance especially if the lack of sleep has been building for some time.

It is important for you to make sure you are getting a sufficient amount of quality sleep in order to keep yourself in top physical and mental condition. The last thing you want to do is allow your fatigue to cost your team the victory they have been working so hard to achieve.

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