Archery isn’t a sport requiring high level of cardiopulmonary fitness. It does require an elevated degree of neurocognition. Archery demands a physically repeated action that does stress upper body muscles and skeletal structure. It also necessitates the ability to balance with minimal sway placing additional demands on an athlete’s core and lower body support. Sleep reinforces sport recovery and improves performance.(1)
The disciple required to excel in sport is enormous. The daily activities during training, travel and competition all can decrease the ability to train properly, focus and compete.
Training along with poor restorative sleep can lead injury. Overtraining is associated with injury and lower performance levels. Sleep deprivation or poor sleep quality does reduce performance and leads to injury.
One of the easiest, albeit infrequently considered, ways to improve performances is understanding that quality sleep supports develop as an athlete. Then, taking the steps to improve sleep.
This is true for archery. In a convenient sample of training scores, simulated tournaments over 30 days sleep quality was recorded along with performance levels.
Nights where sleep was poor were documented, as were the higher quality sleep cycles. These were based on hours of sleep, good sleep being greater than seven hours, and poor sleep less than seven hours. (Personal data n=1)
The mean number of hours slept for a quality scores was 7.8 hours versus 6.3 hours for poor quality sleep. Those nights with better sleep yielded a mean score of (vertical 3 sport 18 or 25 meters Olympic recurve bow for both conditions) 549 versus 532, quality sleep vs. poor quality sleep, respectively. The difference of 17 points is significant (3.09%). A high score of 568 was achieved at both 18 and 25 meters for quality sleep nights. Those higher scores had a range of 568 to 540 points. The poor quality sleep had a high score of 540 (at 25 and 18 meters) and a low score of 527 (25 meters) was revealed.
Sleep has been shown to improve performance of skilled athletes. (2) In this data set archery is not an exception.
(1) Simpson NS, Gibbs EL, Metheson GO: Optimizing sleep to maximize performance: implications and recommendations for elite athletes. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2017 Mar; 27(3): 266-274