Sleep is one of my favorite topics, because that is when you really recover from your training.
I am guilty of not sleeping enough, like most North Americans who live and die by the alarm clock.
Last summer on vacation, I “slept when the sun set” and woke up when “I felt it was time” to wake up (or the need to pee, whichever came first). Sure enough, I was sleeping almost 10 hours a day, if not more, and I wasn’t even training then.
Here are some precursor articles to read:
5 Reasons Why YOU Need More Sleep
1. Being More Sloppy and Clumsy
I look back at my blog at times and often I am shocked on how many grammatical and spelling errors I make. I do proofread my own writing, but I feel getting out useful content is more important than being a Hemingway writer.
But I know when my writing doesn’t flow, it’s because I am tired.
Why is that?
Researchers don’t know exactly why, but sleepy people seem to have slower and less precise motor skills.
Clete Kushida, M.D., Ph.D., director of Stanford University Center for Human Sleep Research, said reflexes are dulled, balance and depth perception are compromised. As well, since you might have trouble focusing, reaction time can be slowed! Not good for doing Block workouts!
Did I mention reaction time?
2. Being Forgetful or a Scatterbrain
People blame old age for being forgetful, right?
Or the myth of alcohol destroying X million brain cells for every drink you consume?
Too little sleep has been linked to a whole host of cognitive problems, like difficulty focusing and paying attention, confusion, lower alertness and concentration, forgetfulness and trouble learning, etc.
So next time you find yourself blaming who took your keys or remote control, count the number of hours you slept the past few nights.
Did I mention trouble learning?
3. Having a Cold… forever
Ever notice sometimes you can’t shake that cold or sniffles?
A 2009 study found that people who sleep fewer than seven hours each night have almost three times the risk of catching a cold than people who slept for at least eight hours, the LA Times reported.
I think your Mom could have told you that.
4. Being more Emotional (or Aggressive)
Ever have times when you see women crying easily over “nothing”, or children (and grown men!) being more hyper or aggressive?
Ever seen a small non-issue that puts a person into tears?
A 2007 study found that sleep-deprived brains were 60 percent more reactive to negative and disturbing images.
"It’s almost as though, without sleep, the brain had reverted back to more primitive patterns of activity, in that it was unable to put emotional experiences into context and produce controlled, appropriate responses,"
5. You’re ALWAYS Hungry
This is true.
I am always hungry. But is it from lack of sleep?
Research presented at the 2010 meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior linked little shuteye with higher levels of the hormone ghrelin, the same one that triggers hunger.
What are some other clues that you need more sleep, other than the obvious, like yawning profusely or falling asleep at the wheel?