Nutrition is important, there’s no denying that.
*See CrossFit Pyramid*
One thing that is unfortunately way overlooked (and probably even more important than Nutrition) is SLEEP. After listening to an episode of the Chasing Excellence podcast the other day (link found here) as well as messing up my own sleep schedule this week, I wondered how many people actually realized how lack of sleep could affect them.
To sum up what Ben Bergeron, a highly recognized coach and affiliate owner in the CrossFit community, talks about in the above mentioned podcast… There was a study conducted by Stanford University on a group of male college students. They had this group of healthy males sleep only four hours a night (half of what we would strongly recommend). By night seven, after only ONE week, the entire group of healthy males were pre-diabetic. Yes, you read that right… After seven days, everyone was pre-diabetic.
If you are after athletic performance, this is something you need to dial in ASAP and here’s why… As previously mentioned, I badly messed up my own sleep schedule this week and wow did I ever suffer. It wasn’t a 4 hour night like in the above mentioned study, but it was still a lot less than I’m used to. I am usually very diligent about getting 8+ hours every night, but on Tuesday night I got 5.5 hours of sleep, a whole 2.5 hours less than my body is used to. It blew my mind how much it affected me for the rest of the week; my training session on Wednesday did NOT go well, my recovery wasn’t optimal either, which then affected my training session on Friday. (We won’t even talk about my mood *insert embarrassed emoji here*.)
So now the question is, how do I improve my sleep quality? There are plenty of different pre-sleep routine recommendations out there. Essentially you just have to figure out what works for you! Some things to consider trying would be to power down (or put away) your phone at least 30 minutes before you go to bed, reading and/or journaling before bed to help clear your mind. If you’re interested in checking out a step-by-step power down routine by Jenny Sharpe from M2 Performance Nutrition, click here.
If you’re interested in fine tuning your pre-sleep routine, contact one of your Outlook Nutrition coaches today!