The Power of Sleep and Performance: High Performing Athletes Sleep between 10 to 12 Hours Part 1
How did you sleep last night? Did you know that sleeping and performance are related? The power of sleep is what we will be talking about in this segment to show you how it helps with your performance in your daily life. Lebron James, NBA player for the Lakers, reportedly must sleep 10 to 12 hours a day to recover and be able to perform as he does! We will look at how sleep is used by people that are succeeding and how not getting sleep stops people from reaching their success. If you need solutions on how to get more sleep, we will help with that too!
Many of us have been told that we can survive on a small amount of sleep and still succeed. But that may work for a short time, eventually, you will crash without the proper sleep your body needs. Reported by the Huffington Post, Kevin Durant, an NBA player, wrote of the importance of his sleep. “Every day is a new chance to challenge myself and push my training to the next level, but I can only do that if I keep my energy up. Sleep is an important part of that, a solid 8 hours of sleep each night.” People talk about time management, but you can’t manage time since everyone has the same amount of time. You can manage things around energy. You can figure out when you are at the peak of your energy and plan around that. Getting good quality sleep is one way to get the energy you need to perform well.
Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world and six-time Olympic gold medalist, says that he sleeps 8-10 hours a night according to the Huffington Post! “Sleep is extremely important to me — I need to rest and recover in order for the training I do to be absorbed by my body,” he said.
Michelle Wie a professional golfer, who at ten years old was the youngest player to qualify for the USGA amateur championship and won the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open title, says she must sleep 12 hours a night! She says, “When I can, I’ll sleep more than 12 hours, and I don’t feel very good if I get less than 10,” according to Huffington Post.
People think if they sleep, they won’t be successful, but these professional athletes prove that wrong! Sleep helps us to be successful! There is a paradigm shift we need to make to realize that we need more sleep and that it is not okay to deprive our bodies of the sleep it needs. You may be able to function on little sleep, but can you function well?
What are some things that affect your sleep? We have seven things that interfere with your sleep. The first thing that affects your sleep is your diet! Especially what you eat before you go to bed. If you eat too close to your bedtime, then your body will be doing work digesting your food while you are trying to go to sleep, which can keep you up all night. Digesting food is a big process! Caffeine will also affect your sleep, so limiting or eliminating it from your diet can help you sleep better.
Light in your room can affect the quality of your sleep! Even a small amount of light. You can have blackout curtains in your windows or wear a sleep mask to block the light. Your bedroom is for your sleep so focusing on making it a place that you can truly rest and get good quality sleep is important for your success.
Medical issues can stop you from sleeping, with pain being one of the biggest interrupters of sleep. Solve your pain, and you can solve your sleep.
Worries and problems can stop you from sleeping! You try to go to bed to sleep, but you are attacked in your mind with things that cause you to worry. Jesus tells us not to worry, so we need to give our worries over to God and trust Him with our problems.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
Screen time can affect your sleep. It can keep your mind alert and cause you not to have quality sleep. Also, it can pull you in to keep watching things or scrolling through articles or social media posts. We need to give thought to our ways and how we spend our time. What are you doing that is taking away from your sleep time? Think of how not getting the sleep you need affects you the following day.
Finally, not having a set time to go to bed can affect your sleep. Many have an alarm clock to wake up, but nothing set in place to tell them to go to bed! Why not set an alarm to remind you to start getting ready for bed? Begin a bedtime routine. Think about it an hour before the time you plan to get in bed so that you can prepare your mind to be ready for sleep. That way, when you get to the time to go to sleep you will be ready.
Dr. Matthew Walker, an English scientist, and professor and wrote Why We Sleep, helps us discover the importance of sleep. The first thing he talks about in an interview on Skavlan TV is how sleep and creativity are connected. He says that sleep and creativity are very connected! “We know that sleep inspires problem-solving. It’s almost as if sleep is like group therapy for memories. That sleep gathers in all of the information you have been learning during the day, and it starts to collide it in these strange connected ways…so that you wake up the next day with a revised mind wide web of associations…” Based on sleep studies he has done when you have 8 hours of sleep, you are three times more likely to solve a problem than if you stayed awake trying to figure out the problem. “It’s the reason no one has ever told you to stay awake on a problem. Instead, they tell you to sleep on it.” There is power in good sleep! Preparing yourself and your bed for good sleep sets you up to be able to be three times more likely to solve problems!
Dr. Walker shares next on forms of sleep insomnia. He says there are two forms of insomnia, one being sleep onset, which is difficulty falling asleep and the other is sleep maintenance insomnia where you can fall asleep, but you can’t stay asleep. “What we know is one of the principal causes of insomnia, which by the way, is twice as likely to be present in women than in men, it’s a far more female impacted disorder. The principle cause seems to be anxiety. That sort of “fight or flight” branch of the nervous system gets ramped up, and when that gets ramped up, it’s very difficult to fall asleep.” He says to have a worry journal and to write down your worries an hour before bed, so you don’t have to think about it while you are trying to sleep. We talk about how you can do this to help you to be successful in A Full Focused Life, and you can find out more HERE. Also, you can join the VFNKB Community, where we share success strategies to help you in your daily life. You can join HERE today!
God loves you and has a plan for your life. Allow Him to get involved in your life and help you rest. In the Bible, we are told that God will give us dreams, and we must enter into a deep sleep to have God speak to us through dreams. We must be able to trust God because we will never rest if we are constantly trying to figure things out ourselves by worrying. Jesus’ disciples were worried in a storm while He slept on the boat and they asked Jesus if He even cared about the fact they were in a storm because they were worried, they were going to die. Jesus set the example to rest and sleep even in the middle of the storm because we can trust Jesus to keep us safe! We are called to have faith and believe that Jesus is in control. What are your thoughts about these sleep hacks? We want to hear from you, and you can write to us in the VFNKB Community or at Friends@VFNKB.com. Greg and John shared in this segment.
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