Become a Sleep Assassin

I’ve talked previously about how Netflix beats stretching for recovery – but remember ‘relaxation’ is still a relatively small percentage of effective recovery when compared to the big 2:

Sleep & Nutrition 

So today I thought we would talk sleep. 

Sleep is probably the single biggest factor in terms of whether or not you can manage your fatigue and recover effectively from your training. 

You may have nutrition nailed, relaxation down, massage sorted, sauna, cryo, gizmos and gadgets aplenty – however without sleep you are pretty much guaranteed to not be recovering. 

I’m sure you’ve all experienced lack of sleep and exactly how it makes you feel. 

Two of the big things that come along with poor sleep:

– Lack of concentration 
– Performance decreases

Hmm wonder how the will impact your grappling…

Another negative is its impact on your cortisol and testosterone – bringing natural test levels down and raising cortisol. This has a profound knock0on effect for your body composition and performance long term.

Ok so you get my point sleep is good. If you want to be performing well in the gym, on the mat and in day to day life solid sleep is a must.

So how does this look practically?

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You’ve probably heard the whole ‘You should sleep 8 hours per night’ trope…

Well to be fair, this is actually a great ballpark. On average 8 hours of quality sleep per night is a good amount to shoot for – however there are exceptions. 

Some people will get by just fine with a lot less than 8 hours and some people – especially athletes will need a lot more (10+ hours in some cases)

So how do you know if 8 hours is enough? 

Once again this can be fairly simple to deduce, do you often feel tired? Do you spend a lot of the day yawning? Do you feel rested upon waking? Do you need coffee and other stimulants to function? You get the picture. 

If you are powering your day with Red Bull and Coffee, yawning your way through work and need 3 scoops of hypersuperdeathdestruction pre workout to get through a gym session you aren’t getting enough sleep. 

But I’m getting 8 hours!?

Sorry Bro, you need more.

One of the things that I see time and time again with grapplers are crazy training schedules. Rolling and sparring everyday as well as adding in strength and conditioning 3-4x per week, maybe a run or 2 and a Yoga session. 

That’s a huge demand on the body that will require payment in rest and recovery.

I would always prefer an athlete get an extra hour in bed rather than get up earlier to hit a workout. Yes your training is important but quality beats quantity hands down every time. Make time for sleep!

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The benefits of becoming a sleep assassin are numerous – here are just a few.

You’re less likely to be overweight. 
Short sleep duration is associated with an increased risk of weight gain and obesity in both children and adults.

Good sleep can improve concentration and productivity
Good sleep can maximize problem-solving skills and enhance memory. Poor sleep has been shown to impair brain function.

Good sleep can maximize athletic performance
Longer sleep has been shown to improve many aspects of athletic and physical performance. One study on basketball players concluded that longer sleep dramatically improved speed, accuracy, reaction times, and mental well-being (1)

Poor sleepers have a greater risk of negative health
Sleeping less than 7–8 hours per night is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Poor sleep is linked to increased inflammation
Sleep affects your body’s inflammatory responses. Poor sleep is linked to inflammatory bowel diseases and can increase your risk of disease recurrence. (2)

I could go on but I am hoping by now you’re convinced to upgrade your sleep!

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If you’re interested in my ultimate check list for your best nights sleep ever then check this out

(1) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21731144/
(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3882397/

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