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Is sleep holding you back?

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

Sleep - one major key to performance

Why you need to sleep!!!


Sleep is crucial for performance & health.

You can check out a old blog we did "sleep to peak" which goes into more of the negative health effects from sleep deprivation. This blog will break down more of the negatives when it comes to performance in the gym.

How much should we sleep?

Research has shown that 7-9hrs is needed for adults & 8-10 hrs for adolescents . Athletes may need more to recover adequately therefore 9-10hrs is recommended.

How is sleep & performance correlated?

Sleep deprivation has negative impacts on exercise performance, reaction time, attention span and decision making. It also reduces maximal strength & submaximal strength.

Yet on the flip side, exercise appears to have a positive impact on sleep quality and is often recommended for fixing poor sleep.

Strength training has also been shown to increase deep sleep quality & sleep drive.

The National Sleep Foundation found that people who categorize themselves as exercisers report very good sleep quality opposed to those non-exercisers!!

Negatives of sleep deprivation on physical performance:

Increases perceived exertion which inhibits performance

Reduces glycogen levels

Promotes insulin resistance

Reduces recovery

Increased muscle soreness, pain & joint stiffness

Reduces maximal performance

Reduces reaction time

Promotes muscle loss

Impaired sleep duration & disrupted circadian rhythms also affects cortisol & growth hormone

Signs & symptoms of poor sleep:

Feeling tired after waking up in the morning

Dependency on stimulants like caffeine, supplements, medications etc

Frequent yawning

Muscle soreness & tightness

Decreased performance

Increased perception of fatigue

Brain fog & sub optimal cognition

Irritability & bad mood

Food cravings

Increased infections

Paranoia , anxiety etc

Causes of poor sleep:

Sleep apnea/breathing problems

Circadian rhythm mismatches

Chronic stress/high cortisol

Overconsumption of caffeine


Watching tv/screens at night

Nutrient deficiencies

Insomnia/frequent napping

6 proven ways to restore your energy during the day:

Get morning sunlight

Walk outside for 15 minutes after lunch

Take 10-30 minute nap at 1-2pm

Take a cold shower

Exercise for 30-60 minutes

Walk barefoot on the grass

These go hand in hand with how to sleep better, but some other tips are:

Consistent bed & wake up times

Avoid light at night (ie mobile phones in bed/tv screens in bedroom etc)

Sleep in a cooler room

Ensure room is dark

Nasal breathing

Don't drink coffee after noon

Eat a high protein dinner _ tryptophan an amino acid gets converted into serotonin and then melatonin.

Consume some melatonin rich foods (refer to old blog post for these foods)

Get your electrolytes into you - salt being very important for this

No alcohol at night

Stop eating min 2 hours prior to bed

Take a magnesium supplement if deficient

Sleep is the one free thing you can take control of today in order to improve your health and performance. So make the necessary changes in order to do so :)

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