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
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
Muscle soreness & tightness
Increased perception of fatigue
Brain fog & sub optimal cognition
Irritability & bad mood
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
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
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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