Just wanted to throw up a discussion on sleep. It’s not talked about very often and yet is crucial to every aspect of self-improvement. It effects our mental and physical performance, our metabolism, memory, emotions, and the processing of daily information. Inadequate sleep can throw off a whole week of training, focus, appetite, and motivation. Inadequate sleep at a chronic level is beginning to be linked to Alzheimer’s Disease.
I recently read a book called “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker and it blew my mind. I have since started to log how much I sleep each night, and have been more cognizant of when I go to sleep and when I wake up. The author stresses the importance of sleep by illustrating that evolution, over it’s full course to date, has not phased out sleep, a function that takes up 1/3 of our lives. 1/3 of our lives not gathering food or working towards reproduction, and leaves us unconscious to our external environment – susceptible to danger and predation. Walker talks about the functions of the brain during sleep, how important it is to sleep during the right time of an individuals daily rhythm, and the roles of REM and Non-REM sleep through a course of 8 hours. He states several studies over the course of a couple decades on the effects of adequate/inadequate sleep on students, athletes, classical musicians, etc, and the results are astounding.
I think it can be very beneficial to approach our sleep habits with the goal to optimize, just as we do with our training and nutrition. I would even go as far to say that adequate, quality sleep should be established and maintained before attempting to optimize training and nutrition with the expectation of progress and high-end results.
It’s not a dull read, and if you’ve got a road trip or air travel coming up, download it on Audible and dig in.
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