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Keeping It Simple: Sleep

It’s the unsung hero of health, athletic performance and longevity. It’s that simple natural precious state of being called sleep!

Animals know it. They don’t fight it. My cat taught me that! She slept like a champ and was healthy to the very end! But for us humans, sleep can be something we discount and put way down on the list of things we would call a top priority.

Yes, we all know it’s important. It’s when our bodies recover and repair the muscles we use during exercise. It’s the time that makes us stronger from all our training. Sleep is when our hormones balance themselves and our brain refreshes. And for sure sleep is part of the cure for any period when we are feeling under the weather.

Athletically, studies have shown that sleep-deprived endurance athletes who get an extra hour or two each night see benefits in their performance that are even greater than they would have gained if they had taken EPO. Amazing yes. And sleeping is legal!!!

Unfortunately, having the intention of getting good quality sleep does not always translate into actually getting good quality sleep.

You’d think it should be simple. Just get to bed early and wake up feeling like a superhero! Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy. COVID makes it even tougher for a few reasons. One is the worry about the future of work and life that is a slow-bake stress that has seeped into everyone’s minds. That can keep us awake. Another is what for many has become a more random daily schedule with less structure to force us to stay on a regular daily routine with sleep.

But even more of a negative impact on getting to bed early enough to get good quality shuteye is our interaction with all our electronic devices. From getting sucked into binge watching the next series on our list of Must Watch programs to endless scrolling through social media, it’s become so difficult to hit the off switch and actually turn the lights out.

Check out this Shed Talk that gives more light to the sleep dilemma and what we can do about it!

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