SLEEP or DIE | Mini Blog - 500 Words or Less - 1.7 Minutes of Reading...
Updated: Mar 2, 2020
I’ve often joked that you don’t need me, or any personal trainer. Learn how to eat properly, and develop healthy sleep habits, and you’ll dominate the competition. Since you’re teenagers, you almost never listen. Luckily, working hard in the weight room still gets you dramatic performance improvements, but keep reading to learn about why sleep is fundamental to your performance.
Sleep. It’s basically magic. That’s right. Magic. Try not sleeping and see what happens. Staying up late, lying in bed, playing Tic Toc or watching Minecraft is destroying your recovery. That blue light coming from your screens is confusing the hell out of your body, so knock it off. Turn off the phone, iPad, laptop, make your room a little colder than normal. Next, make it as dark as possible, then doze off and dream about your name on the back of a Team Canada jersey.
Dr. Matthew Walker is my go-to source when it comes to learning about sleep. From his humble beginnings as a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School to Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, he made it big when he was a guest on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast. There are two ways to capitalize on his brilliance. One, read his book, Why We Sleep, or, when you’re training, listen to him on Joe Rogan, Episode #1109. Actually, do both. Do both of those things, over and over, except when you’re trying to sleep. I hope all my blog posts aren’t based on Joe Rogan guests, but I had to give up on music once your generation made Old Town Road the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 17 weeks, so you never know.
Your sleep pattern is very important. Keep it consistent. Don’t try and "catch-up" on hours over the weekend, you can’t.
10 hours is tricky, but get at least 8 hours a night. The same 8 hours night after night is ideal.
Human Growth Hormone. What some athletes get banned for using illicitly OCCURS NATURALLY when you sleep. Ballpark figures: 60% to 70% of HGH secretion happens when you sleep, meaning you wake up stronger after a proper sleep cycle.
Sleep restores brain function, improves alertness, and also enhances muscular recovery… You don’t grow when you play or lift, you grow when you sleep.
Read a book. The old fashion version that your parents and I read… unless you're reading this on your phone… good work.
Now go to bed.
Until next time,
1. Walker, Matthew (2017). Why we sleep: unlocking the power of sleep and dreams. Scribner, and imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc. 2017
2. Broughton, Roger, Robert Olgivie (1992). Sleep, arousal and Performance. Birkhauser.