Sleep more, perform better

 

News flash: you too are sleep deprived. And no, not just today. It’s chronic.

Sleep deprivation decreases your ability to perform in sports and carry out demanding tasks. It is extremely hard to stay focused, think positively, and stick to healthy habits when tired.

Sound harsh? Maybe so, but the fact remains, says Dr. James B. Maas, an internationally recognized authority on sleep and performance.

 The average working adult does not get enough sleep, and on top of that, consistently behaves in ways that decrease sleep quality.

 To make things worse, sleep deprivation is not only a problem for stressed-out grown-ups. The vicious cycle begins at a young age and negatively affects both physiological and cognitive performance.

Couple evening exercise and social media chat with an early wake-up for school, and the sure-fire result is decreased performance both at school and in sports.

 The biggest problems include too much screen time and working out too late in the evening. Both our body and our mind need time to wind down before going to bed.

 How much sleep is enough is, of course, individual and depends on age. Teenagers would benefit from nine to ten hours of sleep; most adults are content with an average of eight hours.

The higher you aim, the more you benefit from sleeping more and better. Focus on how you exercise AND when you exercise. Try out different training schedules and find out what works for you.

 If you find it difficult to fall asleep at your regular time after a late night training session, try an earlier slot and see what happens.

 Sacrificing sleep really means sacrificing performance, said Dr Maas in an SXSW panel on Quantified Self, and the impact is clearly visible in Checkmylevel training readiness curves too. So in order to perform at your peak, decide on the time to go to bed and stick with it. And cut out all electronics an hour before bedtime.

We’re convinced enough to take the hint and go to bed earlier - are you? 


Ville Simola
Ville Simola

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