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Ask the coach: LifeSport Coach Chris Thomas

sleepDear Coach,

A college athlete of mine recently asked me about the importance of sleep. He has a busy school, work and social schedule. His sleep was starting to suffer and he wanted to know if sleep was really that important to his endurance goals.

Coach Chris’s response:

I emphasized to my athlete just how important proper sleep is. Growth hormone is released during sleep and there is added hormone production when sleep is extended past normal ranges.  On the flip side, a two hour reduction to one’s normal sleep pattern is equivalent to consuming enough alcohol to register a .05 blood alcohol level. While the average adult gets 7 to 7.5 hours of sleep daily, there have been recent studies done on athletes that show enormous benefits to athletic performance when they are able to get 10 hours of sleep per night.  ESPN even did a story where they stated that sleep is the “magic pill” for athletic performance.

I mentioned to my athlete that there are many devices on the market today that track the amount and quality of sleep. I, personally, use the Timex Move X20 to track my daily sleep patterns. I find that it really helps me stay more consistent. I’m also able to better understand my energy levels on a daily basis.


LifeSport Coach Chris Thomas has over 10 years of coaching experience and is USAT certified.  Chris is also an Ironman 70.3 World Champion (M40-44).  He enjoys working with athletes of all levels. Contact Chris to tackle your first triathlon or to perform at a higher level. Find more tips on Twitter@LifeSportCoach.