Howdy and Welcome to the PledgeTraining Podcast…today i’ll be making a case for an often overlooked part of everyones health – you’re sleep. Ideally you spend 1/3rd of you life asleep…but not most of us!
Argue as you might that you’re too busy for sleep, maybe you’re an entrepreneur that is moonlighting after their full-time job, a single parent, or a a straight-a student that stays up studying and cramming for tests….whatever the case, i’m going to go through the evidence in hopes of convincing you to put aside those 7-8 hours for your longterm gain, your brain health, your cognitive function, your waistline, for your cancer risk and even for your heart health.
First, did you know that Human beings are the only species that deprive themselves for no reason… in fact, mother nature in all of her glory and wisdom has never had to some up a solution for intentional sleep deprivation…and this has only been happening since the 1940’s which is only the blink of an eye on a history timeline.
In fact the only way you could get a species to sleep less before the 1940’s was to put them in conditions of extreme starvation … perhaps so that they could forage for longer amounts of time and in larger radiuses. In any event, sleep deprivation has been idolized and glorified in recent history and in our pop culture now… it’s seen as a way to ‘get ahead’… if you want to be a champion and you want to be fit… you have to wake up at 5am, take a cold shower and go run, lift and grind until the sun comes up all the while thinking of how far ahead you are of all those peons who slept in and got their 8 hours of sleep. THIS COULDN’T BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH Y’ALL.
Sleep deprivation, stated as less than 7 hours which means half of the entire human population, has been found in research to increase all cause mortality. ALL CAUSE MORTALITY… it effects so many different ways of dying… and inhibits so many ways of us fully living…which i’m about to get deep into. So first, since everyone does seem to care about their waist line – it’s directly correlated to weight gain and obesity through it’s affect on cortisol, gherkin and leptin, yep it jacks up your hormones! Do you know how much harder it is to lose weight with cortisol telling your body to shed your muscle mass and store fat, lowered leptin telling you that you’re never full and ghrelin increasing and giving you those hangry episodes? yeah i bet your friends wont appreciate you as much in that hangry state!
Furthermore, low sleep over a lifetime is the HIGHEST predictive value of Alzheimers risk, not genetics….not even diet. …We all know the short term decreases in mental function after a sleepless night…well it’s actually doing longterm irreversible damage as well.
Okay, so we’ve got the longterm covered pretty well… but it also screws your short term happiness and ability to be present and ‘show up’ at work and for the people around you.there’s. in fact in research found less productivity, creativity, and less motivation marked as the sleep deprived taking on fewer projects at work overall and choosing the ones that were simple in nature when they did – such as listening to voice messages rather than ‘big picture tasks.’ And, furthermore when these research participants were given big picture tasks, sleep deprived employees produced less helpful, less creative and less meaningful solutions. This is why In every language the term ‘sleeping on a problem’ exists, transcending all cultural boundaries. Less sleep does not mean more productivity. Why do we overvalue employees that undervalue sleep?
What about with your friends and family? Well you’re less charismatic the less sleep you get and You’re more emotionally unstable, unable to think longterm clearly and more likely to make mistakes in an unslept state. This is due to the loss of your prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the first thing to ‘go’ when you’re sleep deprived, and instead these deep emotional centers of the brain normally kept in ‘check’ by the prefrontal cortex become more active and just erupt. So it’s no wonder that you’re all emotional gas petal and too little brake in that under-slept state.
Okay so now that you guys are sold.… What is the actual mechanism for all this sorcery? During sleep, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain increases dramatically, washing away harmful waste proteins that build up between brain cells during waking hours. Their brain cells actually shrink during sleep, making it easier for fluid to circulate.. Then when you wake up, the brain cells enlarged again and the flow between cells slows to a trickle. It’s almost like opening and closing a faucet if you’re looking for a good visual to latch on to!
These proteins can and will actually kill brain cells if left ‘unswept’. One of the main proteins responsible for this is Beta amyloid, the substance that forms plaques seen in diseases like Alzheimers, which explains the elusive link between sleep disorders and psychiatric problems and brain diseases like Alzheimers.
Okay my last and final plea for you to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep is how it supercharges your brain and body. Why just exist when you can excel, when you can grow, enhance your ability to move, think and interact with your world in meaningful and intentional ways.
When you sleep your brain is playing out patterns and skilled motor movements that you’ve learned in wakefullness, the exact same movement patterns are seen firing during REM sleep as those in training but at 20 x faster. Practice doesn’t make perfect ‘ practice plus good sleep makes perfect’! In studies people have been found to come back after a quality night of sleep to perform 20-30% better when they wake up.
With results like this, sleep could be the greatest legal performance enhancement that most people are neglecting! As stated above there are also tons of recuperative, interpersonal and memory benefits, and on top of this. And if you’re getting 6 or less hours then you’re completely missing out. Just for a statistic, research has found that your time
to physical exhaustion can drop up to 30% as lactic acid builds up quicker, your ability to expel CO2 lessens and your ability to bring in O2 decreases. Basically it kills your workout and fitness efforts through promoting fat retention, messing up your hunger signals, decreasing your aerobic abilities and completely killing your motivation and drive!
If you need more evidence, it decreases your testosterone and it also increases your risk of injury through decreasing your ability to activate stabilizer muscles and your coordination through non-optimal neural function.
Hopefully you are now sufficiently convinced to stop short changing your cheapest, easiest performance, life, health and happiness enhancing practice available to every single human at no cost! The world needs you to be a valuable, creative, productive, happy, influential and well slept contributing member of society. So rest up and then get to work creating, planning and executing ways to enhance your lives and the lives of others.
This is Sarah Pledger Signing off – happy trails and have a great week!!