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Eat, Sleep, Exercise….Repeat

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Sometimes on a Saturday afternoon between 14:00-17:00 my wife and I will often take a trip into town to amble about the shopping precinct to see what’s happening or purchase items that we may need. After a week of work and a tough Saturday morning of a 2-hr swim and 90 mins of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, it’s more like an active recovery than a shopping spree. A few weeks ago, we decided to “do a lap” of the Nike store. We hadn’t been through there in about a year, and we were looking for some inspiration for Christmas presents for our extended family and friends. About 30 seconds into my browsing I stood in amazement at the t-shirt on display. A black Nike t-shirt that was proudly stating the words “Eat, Sleep, Run, Repeat” with the words Eat and Sleep with a strikethrough. To be honest, I was a little disappointed with this but thought maybe it’s a little tongue in cheek or a fun t-shirt of which I have plenty. However, when I got home, I thought more and more about this and jumped on Skynet…I mean Google to see. To my surprise when I googled (Nike t-shirts, sleep) and clicked on images, the return exceeded my expectations. I found “#No Time 2 Sleep” a Seattle Seahawks t-shirt. In contrast, the Seattle Seahawks attribute sleep as a weapon1 to their performance as told on the Field Gulls website and the New York Times article that featured the excellent work that the Seahawks did in partnership with Fatigue Science to measure, monitor and improve players sleep that ultimately helped them win2. I also found the Nike t-shirt that said, “Sleep Less, Run More”. Now I am a fan of running, I have completed about 20 ultramarathons, 6 marathons and numerous other running events, so I’m not completely annoyed at this t-shirt.

Finishing the Leadville 100 miler at altitude in 27hrs 42min. Sleep was a major factor prior to this race to acclimate to the altitude, recover from jet lag and throughout my 8-month training regime.

At this point, you may be thinking what does he have against Nike? The answer is I have nothing against Nike. However, in a world where we are simply not getting enough sleep and sleep disorders are on the rise. It is well known that sleep is an important process for recovery and subsequent performance in athletes and non-athletes alike and that a focus on sleep throughout your life can lead to an increase in your lifespan, less adverse health outcomes and improved daily performance. To support improvement in sleep, I started a podcast Sleep4Performance Radio, contributed to other podcasts, news stories and scientific articles all of which have been released to communicate the details of sleep in different populations and the importance of sleep to enable performance.

We need to reinforce the focus on sleep, as many people still neglect sleep or just don’t get enough. Recent statistics from the Sleep Health Foundation in Australia in conjunction with Deloitte Access Economics report that 1 in 3 people do not get enough sleep1 in the United States, Canada, Western Europe and in Australia. As a society, we should be aiming to achieve 7-9 hrs per night. One of the main factors contributing to this lack of sleep is that 1 in 5 people have a sleep disorder3,4. Sleep disorders or sleep problems will affect the quantity and quality of your sleep, thereby reducing the efficiency of the sleeping time. There are currently over 80 sleep disorders recognised by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine resulting in $18bn of lost productivity per year or $2,500 per person.

So, whilst we may be kicking off the New Year (2019) with great aspirational goals to; get fit, lose weight, and build muscle, please don’t forget to sleep. Sleep is your number 1 FREE recovery tool that will support all aspects of your life.

Sleep well and all the best for 2019 from the team at Sleep4Performance.

Get in touch

iandunican@sleep4performance.com.au and or www.sleep4performance.com.au

Notes

  1. Seahawks teaching players: Sleep is a ‘weapon’ -Sleep is a key pillar in improving health and performance.” Danny Kelly, Jun 22, 2015, https://www.fieldgulls.com/seahawks-analysis/2015/6/22/8825507/seahawks-nfl-sleep-pete-carroll.
  2. Ken Belson, 1, 2016, “To the N.F.L., 40 Winks Is as Vital as the 40-Yard Dash” New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/02/sports/football/nfl-players-sleep.html
  3. Robert Adams, S.A., Anne Taylor, Doug McEvoy, and Nick Antic, Report to the Sleep Health Foundation 2016 Sleep Health Survey of Australian Adults. 2016, The University of Adelaide: The Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health: Sleep Health Foundation.
  4. Asleep on the Job, Cost of inadequate sleep in Australia, Sleep Health Foundation, 2017.

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