What if the answer to your client’s problems is good quality sleep?

You’ll never know until they make it priority and stop downplaying it’s role it has on their health, performance and well-being.

Sleep is one of the most overlooked aspects in people’s lives that could be preventing them from reaching their goals, freeing themselves from disease, or living a life worth living.

I think one of the reasons people dismiss sleep is because the lack of education. Not understanding the detrimental health consequences of getting a poor night of sleep every single night.

For this week’s social I picked this extremely well written post on sleep by Justin Moore.

If your clients were aware of this information, they might start thinking about making it a priority, and their life could potentially change.

Justin’s post was too long to take a picture of so here it is:

“It’s really interesting to have a young puppy and watch his day to day behavior, especially when it comes to sleep.

He sleeps when he wants, where he wants, and for however long he wants.

He’ll sleep for 6-8 hours a night and then nap multiple times a day, sometimes for short spurts, sometimes for hours on end.

He tends to nap the most after walks or after social experiences playing with other dogs or meeting new people. This is certainly not by accident as sleep is the time when we process, consolidate, and store new memories and experiences, something that a young organism has to do quite frequently.

The fact that he naps so much also doesn’t have anything to do with him having nothing better to do. Sometimes he’ll fall asleep sitting up or pass out even when someone is home and offering to take him outside, which is probably his favorite thing ever.

To put it simply: it is clear that left to their own devices, animals will sleep quite often and very regularly, throwing a serious wrench into the notion that we’re only meant to sleep at night, or even more ridiculous, that we don’t need much sleep to function.

Watching his behavior, it becomes even more clear to me what an incredible mismatch humans have created between our physiology and our behavior.

Drago never fights sleep. He doesn’t seem bothered by the idea that he might be missing out on something while he sleeps. I’ve never seen him take stimulants to stay up later, pull all nighters for no apparent reason, or tell any of his friends that they’re lazy for going to sleep earlier or taking naps in the middle of the afternoon.

Nature has never faced the problem that humans have created: we have a large and highly-influential cortex that has allowed us to override our evolutionarily-selected need for sleep, and even convince society as a whole that sleep is a waste of our lives and a behavior demonstrated by those that are too lazy to work.

In fairness, Drago is not going to be writing symphonies, sending other dogs into space, running billion dollar enterprises, or solving the mystery of life itself.

But, we can probably take a lesson from him, and recognize that across the animal kingdom sleep has survived millions of years of evolutionary selection and is a critical pillar of health, wellness, and performance. We need to stop treating it as an afterthought, a nuisance, and a sign of laziness.

We need to appreciate that sleep impacts:
1. Hormones like testosterone and growth hormone — people have looked for performance enhancing supplements to boost levels of these hormones forever. Instead of trying to boost these hormones with supplementation, go to sleep, it’s a critical period for both of them.

In fact, men who sleep 5-6 hours per night have testosterone levels of someone 10 years older than them (Matthew Walker).

2. Muscle growth & tissue repair — sleep is the most potent recovery tool there is for athletes and weekend warriors who want to get bigger and stronger alike.

3. Appetite & the types of foods you decide to eat — deprivation leads to greater consumption of sugary, carb-rich foods. Trying to lose weight and adopt good eating habits? Without sleep you’re screwed.

4. Blood-glucose regulation — healthy people show pre-diabetic blood-glucose regulation after 5 nights of restricted sleep.

5. Immune function — 70% reduction in immune cells that specialize in killing cancer cells after ONE NIGHT of sleep loss.

6. Stress & inflammation – want to up-regulate your stress response and live in a chronically sympathetic and inflamed state? Deprive yourself of sleep. Bad, bad news.

7. Learning, memory, skill retention, & cognition — research shows if you don’t sleep after learning new information or a new skill, you will show no improvement in the skill or retention of the information over baseline when retested. Without sleep, your brain cannot put new memories away for long-term storage.

8. Creativity & Problem Solving — research has also shown that a night of sleep allows people to gain insight into the most efficient way to solve a problem that they were never told was there. It seems that during sleep the brain is actively going through information, searching for patterns, and analyzing it from new perspectives. Those who are sleep deprived are unable to detect the trick to solving the problem that those who were allowed to sleep figured out.

9. Time to exhaustion — your conditioning may get up to 30% worse after one night of restricted sleep.

10. Attention & responsiveness — reflexes and reaction times very quickly become that of someone who is intoxicated in the face of sleep deprivation or sleep restriction.

11. Brain health — sleep is when your brain clears out toxins that are implicated in devastating diseases like Alzheimer’s. In fact, long-term sleep restriction is beginning to be seen as a major risk factor for developing this increasingly common disease.

The list goes on and on. Lets change the paradigm and look at sleep as the vital part of life that it is. Your athletic performance, fitness and body composition goals, ability to produce quality work, capacity to learn and make new memories, and long-term health are all dependent on the quantity AND quality of your sleep.”

For more awesome info, follow Justin on social media!

Until next time 🙂

Lucy

 

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