It’s 7:45 on a Sunday night and I’m getting ready for bed. If things go as planned, I’ll be asleep by 9P. Pretty boring, huh? I admit it.
But I’ve discovered that if I don’t get 7+ hours of sleep most nights I won’t perform well. Names are slower to come to my mind. I’m not as sharp on my feet. Generally, I physically underperform.
This week I have 2 Board Meetings, a new consulting client meeting, a Gala plus I’m less than 2 weeks from my next Spartan Race (and it’s a Super). I gotta be as “on” as I can be.
My alarm will buzz at 4:30A tomorrow. And so I have to sleep.
Just another old guy who doesn’t have anything else to do? Maybe. But if you’re an old guy or young gal you really have to examine the benefit of sleep.
Do you know how much sleep you average per night? Unless you’re tracking it, my guess is like most of these kind of metrics you’ll miss it by at least 20%. Tracking and monitoring beats guessing every time. I know I’m always surprised when my tracking shows less sleep than I’d guess.
Need more convincing?
Sleeping 5.5 hours per night instead of 8.5 will make you fatter! People who sleep 5.5 hours burn a lower proportion of energy from fat while energy more comes from burning carbs and proteins. Which pushes you in the direction of fat gain. And worse, muscle loss. Reference here. Plus insufficient sleep can lead of insulin insensitivity and metabolic syndrome. Neither are anything to fool with. And all can make you fatter and miserable. Reference here.
Insufficient sleep makes you stupid. I’m pushing it a wee bit on this one, but hear me out. One of the purposes of sleep is to help you consolidate your memories. Enough sleep maintains and strengthens long-term memory. That will push you toward the “stupid” end of the axis. Reference here.
Gregory Belenky, Director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center at Washington State University, puts it: “Unless you’re doing work that doesn’t require much thought, you are trading time awake at the expense of performance.”
Oh, and insufficient sleep ages you.
Begin paying attention to your sleep patterns. And note how you feel and perform. I suspect that you’ll reach the conclusion I have, that if I sleep more I’m more productive in the hours I’m awake.
Tell me how you’re doing with sleep. What’s your pattern?
Oh, and thanks for stopping by.
Comment to: sthomas [at] wizardofads [dot] com