Harris & Ross top physio Dave Williams tells us about the importance of sleep in enabling the body to rest and recover.

“Having worked in football for 8 years, I fully understand the demands of the working week & the effect on personal wellbeing & family life. Too often we dedicate so much to the job; in commuting, numerous meetings, emails, often eating lunch on the go or at your desk etc. We often forget about ourselves & our own wellbeing. Despite loving my job in football, this lack of work / life balance became the main reason for leaving.

Over the years, there has been increasing research into the effects sleep has on our lives. We know that getting less than 8 hours sleep increases injury risk in sportspeople by 1.7x. We also know that getting less than 7 hours sleep can significantly affect alertness, reaction times, memory & decision making.

Do we really balance our lives well? Sleep is possibly the best medication we can take. It allows time for information to be stored in our minds and processed from our busy day. We also make better choices in selection of food volume & types. Sleep deprivation has been shown to be associated with obesity in both children, adolescents, & adults.

We try and educate our patients (whether they be elite athletes or just like you and me) that recovery is a crucial part of any training, & sleep is possibly the most under-rated & overlooked element of this. Try to think of it as the best possible pill for pain relief you can get. The fact that it’s FREE means that bizarrely we don’t value it enough!!”

Happy sleeping!