Question: What is the best (legal) performance enhancer?
– for athletes
– fitness enthusiasts
– busy mums
– and everybody else
Answer: enough SLEEP
Science shows that with enough sleep everything gets better. Health, productivity, happiness and relationships.
Sleep deprivation is a serious problem in modern society. Bragging about working all night with little sleep and the “I can sleep when I am dead” mentality leads to a culture of burned out people. With a charged battery people can perform on a higher level and manage stressful situations better.
For myself when I don’t sleep enough I easily feel cranky, moody, irritated and sometimes even angry. My immune system feels weak and I am way more prone to minor illnesses (like a cold etc.)
For Athletes and fitness enthusiasts, sleep is a fundamental component of the stress-recovery-adaptation cycle. The most important one next to nutrition. Every Muay Thai and MMA Fighter who prepares for a fight will sleep between the morning and afternoon training session to ensure that they can participate proper in the second training session of the day.
The same goes for every person who engages in any physical activity. Enough recovery is crucial that your body can adapt to the stress from training.
Research shows that serious sleep deprivation can lead to:
– Heart diseases
Not only is your body recovering, also your brain processes the day during sleep. If your able to remember your dreams, that is an indicator of enough and high quality sleep. A lot of great ideas originated in dreams. For example Google.
Even weight loss directly correlates with sleep. Studies have shown that genes can influence weight by controlling glucose metabolism, energy use, storage of fatty acids, and feeling full.
“The less sleep you get, the more your genes contribute to how much you weigh. The more sleep you get, the less your genes determine how much you weigh”
Being sleep deprived feels like having a hangover. According to Arianna Huffington, 17-19 hours of being awake feels like being drunk and after 24 hours of being awake, you feel and act like you are having a serious hangover. Today, drowsy driving kills more people in the US then drunk driving. About 8000 people per year.
How can we make sure to get the recommended 7-9 hours of good quality sleep? Start to implement minor steps to change your sleep ritual.
Here are a 5 useful tips which can help you>
- Turn off any kind of electronical device 30 min prior to sleep (Phone, TV, Laptop, Kindle etc.)
- Hot bath or shower before bedtime to slow down the brain and body
- Sleep in a completely dark room or wear a sleeping mask
- Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day
- Include physical activity to make your body more tired
For myself, enough sleep makes a big difference in my productivity, emotions, athletic recovery and overall happiness.
With all these points in mind I wish good night and sleep well.