How Much Sleep Do You Need as a Soccer Player? 2024

Good sleep is super important for soccer players to do their best. Usually, they say 7-9 hours is the right amount of sleep, but it might differ for each person.

If you play soccer, you know being on top of your game is a big deal. You’ve likely spent lots of time on the field, getting good and pushing yourself hard.

But, did you ever think about how much you sleep? Sleep is a big deal for how well you play, especially in soccer.

So, how much sleep is just right for soccer players?

Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on the person. I’ll break it down for you.

The Importance of Sleep for Soccer Players

How Much Sleep Do You Need as a Soccer Player?

Sleep is super important for your body, especially after a tough game or practice.

When you sleep, your body makes a growth hormone that helps fix and build up your muscles.

If you don’t get enough sleep, your body can’t recover properly, which might lead to injuries and not playing your best.

It’s not just about your body; sleep is crucial for your brain too.

If you don’t sleep enough, your reaction times get slower, you make worse decisions, and it’s hard to concentrate. S

Studies even say that a night without enough sleep can make your reaction times 300% slower.

So how much sleep do soccer players need? While everyone’s sleep needs are different, most experts recommend:

  • Preschool (3–5 years): 10–13 hours with naps
  • School-age (6–13 years): 9–12 hours
  • Teens (14–17 years): 8–10 hours
  • Adults (older than 18): 7-9 hours

First off, make it a big deal in your daily routine.

Stick to a regular sleep schedule – go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.

It’s like training your body to know when it’s time to rest.

Also, watch what you drink, especially before bedtime. Too much caffeine or sugary drinks can mess with your sleep.

Now, let’s talk about your bedroom.

Make it a comfortable place for sleep. Keep it dark and quiet, and try to keep the temperature cool.

It’s like creating a sleep paradise. When your bedroom is comfy, your brain knows it’s time to wind down.

Think of good sleep as a secret weapon for soccer players. It’s not just about feeling less tired. When you sleep, your body makes this cool thing called growth hormone.

This hormone helps fix and build up your muscles.

Understanding the Sleep Needs of Soccer Players

Understanding how you, as a soccer player, can optimize your performance through sleep is crucial. Here are some important points to consider:

Total Sleep Duration

Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night for your peak performance.

Be consistent with your sleep duration to maintain your physical and mental readiness.

Quality of Sleep

Ensure you get deep, restorative sleep for muscle repair, immune function, and overall recovery.

Pay attention to your sleep environment, manage stress, and address any sleep disorders for better sleep quality.

Sleep Cycles

Recognize the benefits of different sleep stages, including REM and non-REM, for physical and mental restoration.

Strive to avoid interruptions or insufficient sleep to maximize these benefits.

Pre-Game and Post-Game Sleep

Make sure you get adequate sleep before a game to support optimal performance and tissue repair.

After a game, prioritize sleep for effective recovery, especially during intense training or a busy match schedule.

Travel Considerations

Be aware that travel can disrupt your sleep due to time zone changes and unfamiliar environments.

Plan strategies such as adjusting your sleep schedule, maintaining routines, and creating a comfortable sleep environment during travel to minimize disruptions.


Consider incorporating short strategic naps (20-30 minutes) to enhance your alertness and performance without experiencing grogginess.

Hydration and Nutrition

Pay attention to proper hydration and nutrition, as they positively impact your overall well-being and sleep.

Avoid heavy meals close to bedtime and ensure you stay adequately hydrated to support better sleep.

Recovery Protocols

Integrate recovery practices like stretching, foam rolling, and ice baths into your routine to complement good sleep hygiene.

Individual Variability

Acknowledge that your individual sleep needs may vary.

Pay attention to how your body responds, as some players may perform well with slightly less sleep, while others may need more.

Adjust your sleep routine accordingly.


What Will Happen If I Don’t Have Much Sleep as a Soccer Player

First off, your energy takes a nosedive.

Imagine trying to play soccer when you’re running on empty – it’s like trying to drive a car with no gas. You’ll feel sluggish, and slow, and your reactions won’t be as sharp as they should be.

That’s a big problem when you need to sprint down the field or make split-second decisions.

But it’s not just about feeling tired.

Your body needs sleep to recover and repair itself. When you’re sleeping, your muscles are getting a tune-up. Without that, they start to wear down, and you become more prone to injuries.

Nobody wants to be stuck on the sidelines nursing a twisted ankle or a pulled muscle.

And let’s talk about focus.

Soccer is a game that demands concentration. You need to be alert, aware of your surroundings, and ready to pounce on opportunities.

Without enough sleep, your brain gets foggy, and suddenly you’re missing passes, misjudging kicks, and making simple mistakes.

It’s not just about the physical stuff either.

Sleep has a huge impact on your mood and attitude. Ever try to be a team player when you’re grumpy and irritable?

It’s not pretty.

Lack of sleep messes with your emotions, making it harder to stay positive and work well with your teammates.

So, if you want to be a top-notch soccer player, do yourself a favor and hit the hay. Your body, your brain, and your team will thank you for it.

How To Get A Better Sleep as a Soccer Player

Getting good sleep is important for soccer players.

Here are simple strategies to help you catch your sleep and up your game.

Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule

How Much Sleep Do You Need as a Soccer Player?

Try to stick to a consistent bedtime and wake-up time every day. It might seem a bit dull, but it can make a huge difference in how you feel and how well you do.

Your body thrives on routines, so why not give it what it craves?

This helps set your body’s internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, so it knows when to expect sleep each night and when to wake up each morning.

This routine is something our ancestors did back in the Paleolithic era – they hit the hay when the sun went down and rose with the sun.

It’s a natural rhythm that our bodies still appreciate today.

So, as simple as it sounds, sticking to a regular sleep schedule can be a game-changer for your overall well-being.

Good Sleep Environment

Make sure your bedroom is a peaceful and dark haven, not too warm or too chilly.

Keep the temperature around 64-68 degrees Fahrenheit (18-20 degrees Celsius if you’re in Europe).

Make it as dark as you can.

If your curtains aren’t doing the trick, consider getting blackout curtains – trust me, it’s worth the investment

Reduce Screen Time

Bedtime – is not the ideal moment for a text-a-thon or a social media deep dive. Keep the sheets for snoozing, not for scrolling.

Hold off on those late-night texts; your friends can handle a little radio silence until morning.


Well, it’s not just about being the sleep police; it’s the blue light from your phone. That glowing screen messes with your brain’s sleep signals, making you toss and turn like a Netflix plot twist.

Think of your bed as a sleep sanctuary, not a social hub.

So, put away those gadgets, turn off the screens, and let your bed be for just sleep.

Don’t Go to Bed If You’re Not Tired

No need to force sleep; that just leads to frustration.

It’s not a battle; it’s about letting your mind and body ease into it. Trying too hard rarely helps – you know, the more you push, the tougher it gets.

That’s why aligning your body clock (with a consistent sleep routine) and having a chill wind-down plan is key. Your body gets the memo, making bedtime a smoother ride without the tossing and turning drama.

If sleep’s playing hard to get after 20 minutes, bail on the bed. Switch to a different scene, maybe do some light stretching or whip up some chamomile tea.

A warm shower might work wonders too – stay in until the drowsiness hits. Remember, it’s not a sleep smackdown; it’s a gentle drift into dreamland.

Avoid Big Meals Before Bedtime

Don’t load up on big meals before bedtime.

It’s like inviting a full-on feast just before lights out, and your body needs time to digest before settling into sleep.

Eating big meals right before bed can lead to discomfort, indigestion, and a restless night.

Instead, go for a lighter dinner and give your body a chance to wind down without the digestive hustle.

Think of it as giving your stomach a breather before joining the sleep.

So, save the heavy feasts for earlier in the day, and let your bedtime snacks be on the lighter side to ensure a more peaceful night’s rest.


Steer Clear of Alcohol, Caffeine & Nicotine

Steer clear of caffeine before bedtime by ditching coffee, tea, chocolate, and colas (which you probably shouldn’t be chugging anyway).

Also, watch out for those pain relievers with caffeine hiding in them – give them a pass four to six hours before hitting the BED.

Cut the caffeine habit by noon or 1 PM to play it safe.


Because caffeine sticks around; if you’re down 200mg at 1 PM, you’ve still got 100mg running around in your system at 1 AM, and that’s a sleep spoiler.

Now, about that nightcap.

While a drink might make you feel sleepy initially, it can mess with your deep sleep routine. If you’re taking anything, try to finish up at least three hours before bedtime.