Those of us, like you and I, who seek out an accelerated path to greatness are constantly searching for a way to stay one, two, or even three steps ahead of our competition. We know this isn’t at all easy. But if your serious, you’ve already meticulously crafted the most elaborate nutritional protocols you can possibly think of to provide your mind and body with highest quality materials they need for performance and growth. Perhaps you’ve even sought out coaches or training programs to help you bust through the physical plateaus and mental hurdles that can delay your success. I’m also betting, that just like me, you’ve invested hundreds of dollars on supplements you believe will help you improve your performance even it’s just by a fraction of a percent.
You’re not alone in your effort.
Why is it than, that so many of us are willing to go the extra mile to make sure we’ve left no stone un-turned in the pursuit of self improvement while failing miserably at the most critical element of optimum health and performance.
The Ultimate REBOOT
Sleep is one of the greatest enhancers of cognitive and physical performance known to man, yet so many of us fail to get a good night’s sleep nearly every single day! Can you imagine never turning your computer off to rest, update, or reboot?
The next time you’re thinking about heading out for a night on the town en lieu of some much needed rest, and your commitment to being the best you can be not withstanding, please consider these facts about the importance of sleep and performance.
1.) Lack of Sleep Elevates Cortisol – Cortisol is often referred to as “the stress hormone”, but the truth is that having chronically high cortisol levels wreaks havoc on your system and can lead to insulin resistance, decreased immune response, elevated blood pressure, and can even cause connective tissue weakness which will lead to joint injuries that will piss your shit off in the future.
2.) Lack of Sleep Increases Inflammation – The body’s repair processes occur at night during sleep. According to a 2010 study people who sleep less than six hours per night have elevated levels of an inflammatory substance known as C-reactive protein. Failure to regularly get enough sleep will cause C-reactive protein levels to stay elevated, leading to a state of chronic inflammation, and is associated with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and more freaking injuries.
3.) Sleep Improves Performance – A study conducted at Stanford University found that athletes who slept 10 hours per day had improved sprint time and increased stamina during exercise. Although you may not have the time to spend half the day in bed like back in your dorm room days, getting at least six hours of sleep per night can dramatically improve performance.
4.) Sleep Deprivation Impacts Learning – If you’ve been spending your nights burning the midnight oil in order to meet deadlines or stay ahead of the game you might be doing yourself a disservice and your competition a big favor. The brain reorganizes, or chunks, information acquired during the day while we sleep. Failure to get enough rest impairs the brains ability to store data long term and can actually lead to drops in performance despite your best efforts to squeeze the most out of your day.
5.) Lack of Sleep Slows Fat Loss – As we sleep the body experiences a hormonal cascade that impacts nearly all of our metabolic processes- including fat loss. In fact, studies show that not only does sleep deprivation impede fat loss, it also leads to increased cravings, decreased insulin sensitivity, and increased levels of abdominal fat!
So if you think you’re being a real warrior by burning the arrow at both ends you’re headed for a beat down. Getting enough sleep is absolutely critical for anyone looking to optimize both mental and physical health while maximizing performance. In order to allow our brain and body to function at the highest levels possible making sleep a priority isn’t an option. It’s mandatory for anyone who strives to achieve greatness.