Sleep Is Still Important

I know I have already written a post on sleep, but it’s the fact that I am writing another one that really sheds light on just how important sleep is. You see, I’m not one who likes to repeat things, just ask any one of my athletes and they will confirm that. Sleep, however, is truly that important. Sleep is the foundation of our daily musings, our daily performance, it determines how we do everything that we do.

Don’t believe me? Well, do your research, then throw your arrogance out the window and start to believe me. Remember that decision you made around 8:00am Monday morning? I can all but guarantee there would have been a different result if you were not tired. Sure, maybe your decision would have been the same, but would it have taken as long to come to the decision? Would you reasoning behind why you made the decision have changed? Was it even the correct decision? Who knows, but I’d put money on there being some difference.

Anyways, that is just one example in a vast sea of examples. The bottom line is that sleep is important because of how strong an effect it has on the brain and on hormone interactions. There are no if’s and’s or but’s about it. So, take a peek at the video below and listen to me preach to you about sleep, then go ahead and read the outline below.

Importance of Sleep

  • Alertness
    • Lack of sleep causes:
      • Decreased alertness
      • Decreased response to warning situations
    • Creativity,
      • Lack of sleep causes:
        • Decreased creativity
        • Decreased ability to think outside of the box
        • Decreased ability to improvise
      • Mental processing
        • Lack of sleep causes
          • Decreased reaction time – mind body interaction slows way down
          • Decreased ability to think critically
        • Hormone interactions
          • Lack of sleep causes:
            • Increased stress response
              • Stress hormones – cortisol increases
            • Decreased testosterone levels

What does a lack of sleep mean?

  • Slower mental processing time
    • Cannot read situations as quickly as they happen
    • Be one step behind the action at all times
  • Decreased ability to improvise
    • Being creative to get out of a situation less manageable
  • Decreased recovery
    • Recovery is closely related to stress levels and testosterone levels
    • Heightened stress levels makes recovery hard
    • Decreased testosterone makes recovery even harder
    • Compounding effect

Sleep Guidelines

  • How much is enough sleep?
    • General rule of 7-8 hours each night, + an hour for each hour of very hard exercise
    • So, if hard practice for an hour that day, 8+1=9 hours that night

Getting Better Sleep

  • Get rid of stimulants before bed
    • Backlit screens need to go
    • Soft light – red/orange hued
    • Place alarm clocks on the floor, under bed and out of your sight
  • Be wary of caffeine intake
    • Try to keep caffeine before early afternoon, 12-2 at latest
  • Drink relaxing tea
    • Herbal teas can help with relaxation
  • Develop a routine
    • Get into a routine that you go through each night before bed and your body will start to recognize when it’s time to sleep
    • Wake up around the same time each day to make your body respond to the sleep
    • Body will learn when it’s supposed to be asleep and when it’s supposed to be awake

Napping

  • Not always able to get enough sleep, napping can help remedy
  • ~20 minutes is enough to reestablish creativity
  • ~45 minutes good for recovering mental processing ability
  • ~90 minutes is a full sleep cycle and can help restore hormone levels

If after all of that you are still curious about sleep, drop one of those comment thingys down below or bark at me via twitter or email, and hopefully I can enlighten you further.


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