If tomorrow you have an important competition, a race, or any kind of sporting event, is it so important to get enough sleep the night before? Well, of course, it would be better if you do not skip your chance to have a rest, but we all know that this is not always possible. It can happen that you spend you night traveling or preparing, or maybe you always get overexcited before a big event so you simply cannot make yourself hit the hay early. In any case, the answer to the question is not as simple as you might think.
Sleep deprivation affects you differently depending of what kind of exercise you are planning to do. For example, a European study made in 2009 shows that there are very little difference in sport results between a group of men who did not sleep a night before and a group who had a nice eight hour night rest. This refers to aerobic and anaerobic sports like distance running, sprinting, or cycling.
On the other hand, if you are doing weightlifting then sleep deprivation can increase fatigue. You risk to show worse result if you are doing sports that require concentration and strategy, because after a sleepless night you will be worse at making decisions.
If you can choose either not to sleep at all or to snooze for a half an hour, then choose the last option. Even a short time spent in bed can give you some precious extra minutes of energy. You should also remember that it is better to go to bed later than to wake up earlier if you have this choice. So if you need to travel to a place of a sporting event, better go there at night and then doze off in a hotel room. In this case you will feel much better than if you will wake up early in the morning and spend the time before the event driving a car.
When you wake up after a poor sleep, try not to fool yourself pushing the snooze button, better get up immediately, open the windows or go outside to the sunny balcony. It is also important not to skip a healthy breakfast and a cup of coffee.
If we are talking about a regular workout then it is up to you to decide weather it is worth making your day even more exhausting or not. Maybe you would rather skip it. If it happens just once in a while, then there is no big difference. But if you miss your workouts because of sleep deprivation too often, then you should think about changing your everyday routine.