Most of the literature on sleep is regarding restriction and its impact on health and performance. However, there is a growing body of research on sleep extension and the potential implications it may have on athletic performance in particular. It’s fairly well understood that sleep is a primary contributor to recovery and performance. In spite of this, it’s estimated over ⅓ of the american population is underslept (1). The American Academy Of Sleep Medicine recommends individuals aged 18-60 sleep a minimum of seven hours a day (1). Failing to meet this requirement has been associated with various chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, along with various other deleterious health and performance outcomes.
Recovery and athletic performance is an important topic, and one that gets a fair bit of attention. However, information disseminated about recovery modalities often prioritize cumbersome methods with a poor return on investment. As is often the case the fundamentals take a back seat to elaborate strategies to improve athletic performance. When in reality optimization must start with and always prioritize the fundamentals. The objective of this article is to compile all relevant information on recovery and present a comprehensive analysis on the various strategies. From there we can develop a hierarchical structure to offer pragmatic recommendations for athletes to get the most out of their training and recovery and avoid prioritizing variables that generate a small magnitude of effect.