Could Sleep Debt Be Destroying Your Performance?
Could Sleep Debt be slowly killing your productivity, performance, and overall health? Learn what Sleep Debt is and how to combat it.
Sleep debt is a cumulative issue. In the words of the researchers, sleep debt “has a neurobiological cost which accumulates over time.” After one week, 25 percent of the six-hour group was falling asleep at random times throughout the day. After two weeks, the six-hour group had performance deficits that were the same as if they had stayed up for two days straight. Let me repeat that: if you get 6 hours of sleep per night for two weeks straight, your mental and physical performance declines to the same level as if you had stayed awake for 48 hours straight. 
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I was noticing a decrease in my physical performance. This was shocking to me as a trainer and coach who had made a career on opposition of this exact subject. It had nothing to do with the amount of time spent in the gym, my willpower and determination or my exercise selection. I really had no idea why this was happening so I did some biohacking and research. The one factor that kept coming up was a consistent decline in sleep. Quality and quantity.
Sleeping habits are one of the most simple yet challenging things to change. Simple because sleep is free, it’s something that your body cues when in need and it feels amazing to lie your head down on pillows. Challenging because there are more distractions than ever before, it takes willpower to actually get yourself in your bed and according to most, there are so many better reasons to stay up; that is until your alarm goes off in the morning and you need an IV drip of caffeine.
Trust me, we all go through the struggle.
I was averaging about 6 hours of sleep a night, not recovering from my workouts, becoming cranky during the day, stressed out and started to gain weight.
Maybe you have felt this way too.
Here are some of the factors that caused my lack of sleep:
1. I moved into a new apartment with an extremely loud alley.
2. I was working until 8pm most nights.
3. My room had a more open floor plan which led to a subconscious anxious state that made it difficult to fall asleep.
4. I began a new relationship which introduced more social outings at night.
It really wasn’t until I felt like I hit a breaking point that I realized how little sleep I was actually getting. Especially for the amount of physical and mental energy I was using throughout the day.
I thought I needed to quit my job, move to Costa Rica, tell my boyfriend I’m done and lay on the beach for 24 hours. But in reality, I just needed more sleep. Do you ever notice how everything is exacerbated when you’re tired?
So I decided to evaluate which factors I could change. When one of the things I value the most in my life suffers, I am definitely willing to do everything I can to make a change.
Let’s reflect (honestly) on you. If you are trying to lose weight, gain strength, increase cognitive performance, do better at work or relieve stress, and are having a very hard time getting there, maybe it’s as simple as the amount of shut eye you are getting.
Read this article for some great information. http://jamesclear.com/better-sleep
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