T Nation

Combat Sports and Power Naps?


Sup everyone,
I just spent 3 months in Thailand working on my Muay Thai, and over there if you gave the morning and afternoon session all your heart in that heat, I felt finished if I didn't get an hour, or three rest in a dark room between those sessions.

My question for you is, for MMA atheletes especially in a day doing several sessions, striking-grappling-conditioning/weights etc, do you take power naps between sessions if time allows?

If so, how many hours of sleep do you generally get at night, and for how long do you 'nap'? Do you find it effective?

Anyone with ideas on the subject I'd welcome your opinion, thanks!!


If it works for you, use it.

I've never trained a martial art that much, but when we had triples in football I never slept between them. It would make me too groggy when I woke up.


I take power naps....no more than 15-20 minutes. Any more than that...then I would get groggy and feel even more worn out.


when I was doing 2-a-days, I wanted to nap, but I have to make a living so, no, I didnt nap. I wanted to, but didnt. I slept like a baby when I did sleep. I'd get on average 6.5-7 hours sleep. Slept a lot on the weekends though.


I have never been able to do power naps. Even though I do 2 a days a lot, if I sleep in the day I can't sleep at night. I may be exhausted as all hell, but I'll just lay there unable to sleep. Really wish I could break that habit.


When I did do the mega training the 2 and 3 a day sessions I found the only sleep I could get would be

This is college and the brief year or so after college where I just wrestled and did not work yet.
I found I was too hopped up or jacked up from endorphins etc to get more then say 4 or 5 hours tops at a time sleep.
Occasionally post college I would training for a different timezone- I was in mountain time but competing in
US central time, south america, and eastern europe,

so although the training stayed similar my 'day' vs 'nights' changed a little bit not a huge thing.

Probably allot of that has to do with weight cutting- that being on serious caloric reduction kept me awake
and just plain out overstimulated either endorphins or CNS.

I would do some early AM roadwork that was usually on my own

then an Am conditioning and or wrestling practice
afternoon/evening wrestling practice
and sometimes after that some later night time weight cutting - but not everyday
usually your doing it with another person cutting.

so your looking at 3 or sometimes 3.5 training sessions or like 30 to 40 hours a week
so yes naps where essential.

I would take a nap after roadwork
and a second nap usually before afternoon practice.

these would be short 30 mins at best and at night I really could not get much sleep
even though I would be exhausted

really the recovery thing is far far more important then people give credit too...

if naps work for you try them
research goes both ways about daytime sleeping so you might see some conflicting evidence.

more important then sleep was ice ,
ice packs ice buckets for my feet, and the best was a full on ice bath-
some facilites had ice machines but really it only takes a bag or two to keep a tub fridgid.



Fuck that, I've never been able to do power "naps" (15-20 mins), If I end up falling asleep and get woken up by an alarm in 20 minutes time, I lack the willpower to get up. I'll end up turning the alarm off and going back to sleep for like 2 hours, and then of course I can't sleep at night.

I don't know. I guess chalk it up to another case of "what works for you".


Nap everyday if I can.


very hard to get a goodnights sleep when you are training hard. i take naps when i can, an hour or two in the middle of the day is awesome...a couplenights a week we have fight team practice til around ten and it is hard as fuck to fall asleep after that one...so i smoke weed.

kmc is right, the older ive gotten, the more into the ice therapy bs ive become...especially for my neck and back and knees...not up for the ice bath yet tho, that shit is harsh!