The Ultimate Sleep For Performance Guide
Discover your untapped Performance
Sleep is now being seen as one of the biggest factors to positively affect performance and also inhibit performance if not enough sleep is taken in the build-up and during a race weekend. In this guide, you will learn why we sleep and what is happening during sleep to enable better performance. How sleep produces better reaction time, decision making, accuracy and recovery.
How do you know if you are not getting enough sleep?
Could you go back to sleep at 10/11am?
Do you need caffeine before noon to function optimally?
If you didn't set an alarm, would you oversleep?
Do you find yourself re-reading sentences?
Do you sometimes forget what colour the last few traffic lights were while driving?
Every "Yes" is an indication that you are not getting enough sleep.
Keep the room dark. Blackout curtains or a sleep mask are the way to go. So that the sun doesn’t wake you up too early.
Why We Need To Sleep
On average we sleep in five stages of sleep, these stages are known as sleep cycles.
Each sleep cycle lasts approximately 90 minutes making the ideal nights sleep on 7.5 hours
Stages 1-2 as light sleep, 3-4 as deep sleep, and the fifth stage is REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.
REM Sleep decreases how emotional you feel and after waking helps with creative problem-solving. Further, it increases the ability to recognize facial expressions. Dreaming about painful experiences helps dealing with them. Sleep can also help with learning. It refreshes the ability to make new memories, moves facts from short-term to long-term memory, allows you to move motor skills into muscle-memory. In relation to physical activity, it helps with physical recovery, keeps your time to exhaustion high and lowers your risk of injury.
6 nights of 4 hours sleep
10 nights of 6 hours sleep
Produce the equivalent performance of 24 hours without sleep
We then believe that level is the norm
Believing we can cope and function on the lower amount of sleep believing that we have always felt and performed this way, not noticing any decline
19 hours awake is the same accuracy and reaction time as being at the drunk legal limit
6 hours sleep 6 times the amount of driving simulator off-road excursions
Avoid caffeine in the afternoon. Caffeine has a half life of 5-6 hours, meaning that it takes that long for your body to process just one half of the amount you took in. If you drink coffee in the afternoon, it will still be affecting you at night.
Studies on the time of day Olympic records were broken have shown physical performance assessed in Olympic athletes was significantly affected by time-of-day. Best performance was determined in the late afternoon. This indicates that, despite of elaborate training schedules ranging from morning to evening hours, time-of-day still affects professional athletes’ performance due to the circadian rhythm
Avoid sleeping pills. Sleeping pills don’t put you to sleep. They make you unconscious by sedating you. Sleeping pills limit your deep NREM sleep and REM sleep, so you aren’t actually getting the rest you need.