Is sleep essential to improving?

Keith Jawahir

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
So, I ran a search through the forums and couldn't find anything on this topic. If anyone knows if there's already a thread on this, feel free to post a link.

I remember being told a long time ago that all the hours we put into practicing don't mean anything if we don't combine it with a good night's rest, since our brains basically process and organize everything we learn throughout the day. Looking at a few articles, this is especially true for motor control. So, my question is if anyone has any direct experience or knowledge of this as it relates to pool?
 

Cameron Smith

is kind of hungry...
Silver Member
So, I ran a search through the forums and couldn't find anything on this topic. If anyone knows if there's already a thread on this, feel free to post a link.

I remember being told a long time ago that all the hours we put into practicing don't mean anything if we don't combine it with a good night's rest, since our brains basically process and organize everything we learn throughout the day. Looking at a few articles, this is especially true for motor control. So, my question is if anyone has any direct experience or knowledge of this as it relates to pool?

Yes! Sleep is a very important part of the learning process. As you say during sleep our brains process everything, but more specifically I believe it is theorized that it helps form long term memories.

When learning difficult new songs on the guitar, I may struggle with it after a couple hours of practice, but by the next day I'll be able to play it much better right from the start.

For the purpose of pool, sleep would play an important role in developing or changing routines or habits. I think the effect is better if you can come back to what you are practicing the next day or several days in a row.

I don't know how much a 'good' nights sleep plays. But certainly sleeping in general plays an important role in the learning process. So for any students out there, avoid all nighters.
 

WildWing

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Go without sleep for three to four days, and tell us about you ball pocketing abilities. There's your answer.
 

Tramp Steamer

One Pocket enthusiast.
Silver Member
Are you serious? If you don't sleep, you die.
Why do you think I kept one of these sitting on the night stand next to my first wife? :smile:
 

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JeremiahGage

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It is well documented that there is a strong connection between sleep and long-term memory. Do a Google search for "sleep sport psychology" and you will find many articles on the subject.
 

Celophanewrap

Call me Grace
Silver Member
Absolutely. Sleep, good (or at least decent) physical and mental health are essential to a good game. A clear head, focus, endurance all important. I've started tournaments and have made it to the money round and by that time I've been so physically and mentally tired that I crapped out. I've also played and felt good, healthy, was able to stay alert and active, had a good nights sleep the night before and a good breakfast and come out on top. Just look back at your own history, how well do you do when you're tired, or when you're having money troubles or thinking about something else? Where's you focus? Can you think straight? Do you try to take short cuts? or do you think things through and do the smart thing that need to be done?
 

pwd72s

recreational banger
Silver Member
I like sleep like I like a good steak...damned right it's essential.

I'll never understand the crowd that brags about playing over 24 hour matches...
 

plainbutt

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Most definitely. I don't know how it affected me in my younger years but now in my senior years I rarely play well if I don't get +6 1/2 hrs. For myself I believe every component suffers, visual, coordination, and thinking.
 

Ralph Kramden

BOOM!.. ZOOM!.. MOON!
Silver Member
Most definitely. I don't know how it affected me in my younger years but now in my senior years I rarely play well if I don't get +6 1/2 hrs. For myself I believe every component suffers, visual, coordination, and thinking.

In the Hustler movie... Paul Newman played for 36 hours without sleeping.
Then he ordered a bottle of JTS Brown, no ice, and played 36 hours more.

Jackie Gleason played without sleeping, ordered a bottle of house brand.
Preacher brought him Apple Juice in the bourbon bottle. T'was his hustle.
Booze got Newman, he fell asleep and couldn't play. It's booze not sleep.
.
 

Cameron Smith

is kind of hungry...
Silver Member
To clarify the OP's initial post, he is talking about sleep as it relates to the learning process. Not the effect sleep, or lack thereof, has on performance.

One thing I've wondered is if it's best to have consecutive days of practice to get the most out of the effect. For example, if you practice four days in the week, which is most effective? Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday? Or Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday?

I expect the former, for obvious reasons. You stay in stroke better and it's easier to remember what you were working on previously. But perhaps the consecutive days aids in long term memory development? I know that when learning new things/skills, you need to put it into practice within a short time (same day or next day) after a lesson in order to retain the knowledge, but I'm not certain if it's the same concept for motor learning.
 

Spimp13

O8 Specialist
Silver Member
Does it help the learning process? Sure...how much though? That is person dependent. I sleep like sht...as in borderline insomnia and I was fine with my learning process during and after pool school. My memory retainage might have taken a hit, but I didn't seem to have much of a problem executing what I learned from the lesson. That is why while it makes a difference, how much is sort of subjective to each individual.
 

Str8PoolPlayer

“1966 500 SuperFast”
Silver Member
I haven't had a good night's (restful) sleep in decades due to back pain, and now Arthritis.
Quality, Restful Sleep is an essential part of Top Performance, IMHO.
In my prime 14.1 days, I always abstained from Alcohol and late night parties for
at least a week prior to a major competition. I ate properly and slept at least 8 hours
per night. I also practiced every day until I ran at least 100 or more, even if it took
4-6 hours or more. That regimen paid off with (6) U.S. Navy 14.1 Championships.
I also highly recommend 15-30 minute Power Naps between Matches, when possible.
It is simply amazing how rejuvenating a short, restful nap can be.
 
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