How good sleep makes you a better golfer.

Sleep is essential for our wellbeing and health, and can drastically affect our sports performance. Therefore, when you are going to play any sport, it is important to get the right amount of sleep so that you can be at peak performance. 

Getting a good night’s sleep allows the body and muscles to recover, so that they can be refreshed for the next day. Rest also has a big impact on fundamental skills like reaction times, putting accuracy and goal-setting ability. All of these are crucial to golf, and without them you wouldn’t be able to perform at your peak.

If you are a golfer, it’s important to understand how to avoid golf fatigue so that you are able to perform every aspect of the sport to the best of your ability.

How much sleep does a golfer need?

Swinging a golf club repeatedly can take a lot out of a person, so rest and recovery are very important when considering golf performance. Charles Czeisler, an American physician who is a researcher and author in the fields of both circadian rhythms (internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle) and sleep medicine, advised that golfers need as much as nine hours of sleep to give their best possible performance. 

The Harvard biochemistry graduate, who is now the director of the Division of Sleep Medicine at the university, has previously specialised in ensuring that athletes across different fields get enough sleep to perform well. 

Getting this amount of sleep should improve all of your fundamental golf skills and theoretically give you a much better chance of shooting under par.

In an interview with WHOOP, world No.3 Rory McIlroy talked about how important sleep is to his performance. 

“Everything is geared towards getting the best rest possible going into the next day,” McIlroy says. “I think having that mindset that you’re always thinking about the next day and wanting a green recovery and wanting to sleep well, that’s important.” 

Ways that sleep affects golf performance

Golf and sleep go hand in hand, and the amount of sleep you get will have a huge impact on how well you play the sport. There are a number of specific ways that sleep can affect golf performance, such as:

Increased accuracy

Putting is the main element of golf that requires a high level of accuracy, and any mistakes here can lead to disaster as every shot counts. Findings from a 2022 study by the National Library of Medicine, suggested that golfers should obtain sufficient sleep to optimise their putting performance. It is recommended to get nine hours of sleep a day to ensure that your accuracy is at its highest.

Better decision-making

Sleep deprivation can lead to poor decision-making, so it is important to get a good amount of sleep. Golf involves making a lot of important decisions when assessing how best to take each shot. If you get a good night’s rest, you will be better at making these decisions, which will positively affect how well you play.

Increased energy levels

Sleep is essential for energy production and recovery. Getting at least eight hours of sleep a night will lead to significantly increased energy levels and a decrease in fatigue. In a 2020 study on sports fatigue by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, it was found that a golfer suffers from excessive fatigue similar to consecutive weeks of long-haul flights and poor sleep quality. Sleep will help when playing golf, as you should be able to get more power in your swings when you have an increased energy level compared to if you are feeling fatigued.

Reduced injury risk

Golfers are very susceptible to injuries due to the amount of power they have to generate for their initial swing. Any wrong movement during a swing can lead to a pulled muscle, a dislocated joint or back strains. In a 2014 study on the association between a lack of sleep and sports injuries by Matthew D. Milewski, it was found that high school athletes who slept less than eight hours per night were 1.7 times more likely to have an injury compared to those who slept eight hours or more. These stats can be applied to golf, so it’s important to get the recommended nine hours of sleep a night to prevent an increased chance of injury when swinging the club.

Improved mental attitude

Having a positive mental attitude can have a huge positive influence on how you live your life, and how you perform in sports. Negative psychological factors can lead to mental blocks, which negatively impact our focus and preparation. This can even lead to muscle tightening, shaking and increased perspiration. Getting a good night’s rest gives you the best possible chance to have a positive mindset, which will allow you to perform at your top level.

Now that you know the importance of sleep and how it impacts golf performance, you need to learn how to adapt it to your sleep schedule.

Chronotypes are the tendencies in a person’s daily rhythm that determine at what time of the day they feel the most alert and the most tired. There are early birds (morning types), night owls (evening types) and flexible types. Therefore, it is important to understand your chronotype before you get into a sleep routine, as this will be the best way to reach your peak performance. 

Mattress recommendation for golfers

Obtaining a good quality mattress will aid you in getting a better night’s sleep and ensure that you get the recommended amount of sleep to perform at your best. We recommend the Emma Diamond Hybrid mattress from Emma Sleep. This bed has Emma Diamond Degree patented technology for temperature regulation, and was the Good Design Award winner for 2022. A night’s rest on this mattress will be sure to give you the best possible chance to awaken your best and optimise your performance on the golf course.