I've been geeking out hard on my new Microsoft Band recently. This new toy can do many things that my phone already does but its a shiny new piece of technology that makes vibrates and lites up so... I'm like a kid... stoked. One feature of this band that I can't get enough of is the sleep monitor. This brings me back to an important part of peak performance;Sleep is Vital! Much of what I know about sleep science did not come from a book or my doctor, it came from renowned Nutritional Genius Robb Wolf. If you are not familiar with Robb, he basically brought the Paleo Movement to the consciousness of many in the CrossFit and broader fitness world through his no-nonsense way of teaching. This mad scientist gave me some important tips on sleep that I use to this day.
- Blacking out your sleep environment is essential for good quality sleep. You may not even realize it but the smallest LED light going from a computer charger can weasel its way into your brain and disrupt your sleep.
- Relax before bed. Do not watch T.V. at least 1 hour before you TRY to go to sleep. You want to not stimulate your brain with chaotic lights and images on your boob-tube.
- Control the Temperature in your sleep environment. During different stages of your sleep cycle you become very sensitive to heat. Keeping cool is important especially if you run hot at night.
- Avoid stimulants like caffeine and Alcohol before bed. No matter how small the amounts may be, your physiology uses sleep as a rebuilding time. Stimulants, depressants and the like are amplified during sleep as your body works to recover.
My sleep monitor has been shocking in that it displays the metrics of time actually asleep, how many times I wake up, and how long I'm in deep (restful) sleep. Frighteningly I am averaging only 50 minutes of RESTFUL sleep per night while I am 'asleep' for 7+ hours!!
I did some digging on this and found that it is completely normal to only get 15-20% of restful or deep sleep during the course of your night sleep. On a sleep scale there is stages 1-4 and then REM sleep . WE spend most of our nights in stages 1-2 and 3-4 are only sporadic and very short lived. REM happens at the end of each cycle which lasts approximately 100 minutes before restarting.
These cycles are important to dump unimportant aspects of your day and to refresh all the neurons that you use for peak performance. Your control center in the Hypothalamus which is the epicenter for hormones, neurological function and sight have thousands of neurons that are used and damaged each day, sleep allows these neurons to rebuild and restore function.
Have you ever woken up from a night of drinking and been very cloudy and clumsy?? This is your hypothalamus in a deprived state, unable to recover because what you put in your but was shite and now you are reaping what you sow!
The goal is to maximize the time you are in deep sleep. If you take the aforementioned tips to heart you will notice that your days will be better and brain function will be peaking. Athletes demand a lot out of their bodies, sleep is serious business for recovery. Maximize your performance and focus on the ZZZZZ's!
Lacrosse Ball Roll Out 5 Mins
3X :15 active Stretching :10 Passive stretching
-Divebomber Push ups/ Upward Dog Pose - Elbow To Instep Stretch/ Squat Hold - Half Moon Stretch/ Standing Hamstring Stretch -Banded Row/ Plank Hold
:20 Ring Support Top :20 Ring Support Bottom 5 Muscle Up Pull Through
100 Pull Ups 100 Push Ups 100 Sit Ups 100 Squats