Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sleep Check!



OK athletes, time for yet another gut check. This time we are talking about sleep.
So the last few days have found me with very little sleep, and because I'm obsessed with such things, I felt the need to discuss it with you.

Here goes: Sleep is important. Check.
Obviously brain function is slightly (ironic tone) decreased with missing sleep. But how smart do you really need to be?

The real reason sleep matters is because all of the good hormones and growth factors that are released during the deep sleep, stage 3 and 4 periods. This is your body's time of peak anabolic activity (build muscle, burn fat, repair tissues, etc.) and occurs throughout the night but with diminshing efficacy.

If you aren't getting enough of this deep, quality sleep, chances are you aren't optimizing recovery or performance. You are in fact creating stress hormones that are trying to kill you. And you face book and crossfit.com addicts, I'm talking to you.

Your body treats lack of sleep like a direct stressor, the same as starving, or being chased by a lion. So quit being so cavalier about your late nights and crappy sleep.

The goal is to get as much stage 3 and 4 sleep as possible. To this end, here are a few sleep hygene guidelines.

1) Try to go to sleep at the same time every night.
2) Avoid coffe and alcohol before bed.
3) Sleep in the blackest, darkest room possible.
4) Sleep in a cool room.
5) Treat your sleep as importantly as you treat your workouts and protein blocks.

Think of sleep as recovery. And recovery completes the exercise and nutrition trifecta.

Mission:

Keep a sleep journal for a week. Track hours slept/bed time/awake time/ and note when and how much caffeine/alcohol was consumed before sleep. Also note how your performance was during the day. See any patterns? Are you trashed by the weekend. How much "blue time" are you serious about getting in the chart above.

Sleep rules

Coach SleepyKstar

35 comments:

Angel said...

good stuff, kstar. thanks for the reminder of how important sleep is. i seem to let it float by the wayside sometimes and i really need to treat it with more respect. i will start keeping a sleep journal and see what i see. =) by the way, what email address do you use the most? and if i were to add you to my facebook (or course at a reasonable time of day) could i get a hold of you there should i so desire? i promise not to be some creepy stalker...unless you're looking for one. *grin*wink* i really enjoy this blog; thank you and boz for treating us to your thoughts. wOOt!

Nick said...

Coach - My thoughts are with you and the wifey. Tell her I will be thinking of her on the trip.

BTW this is so important. Sleep has decimated me lately. I am glad to go on this trip to get away from the rigorous schedule I have set for myself and I am sure I will finally get some rest. See ya in two weeks.

Josh Cunningham said...

Sleep is the cousin of death. - Tupac

Mark said...

KStar and Boz, your posts mean a lot to us over here in the distant Chicago Burbs. Keep up the good work. So a cocktail of No-Doz, Monster (the green sugar-full kind), and my espresso machine running overtime next to my sofa are not a supplement to sleep? Crazy. I heard they came out with a new drug that makes "exercise" obsolete as well. Do I smell a sub 2:00 "Fran" in the coming months with this new wonder drug?

Ross Naughton said...

May I add a guideline? I've had sleep trouble in the past, so I've thought about this a lot too.

6) If you can't sleep, get up for a bit. It's ideal to leave the room altogether, but get out of bed at the very least. You need to act so that your body viscerally associates bed w/ sleep and relaxation, not restlessness.

Guideline (3) is spot-on. One might even say that the room should be blacker than the blackest black. Times infinity.

J.D. said...

Congrats Starrettes!!!

FilthyBrit said...

I have a feeling that Kstar's sleep log may have only one word entries for the next few years: "Caroline!"

Congratulations to the expanded family!

Adrian said...

Interesting point, Ross. On a related note, I've heard that in simpler times (pre-lighbulb) it was not uncommon to go to bed at sundown, sleep for several hours, rise and be productive for a few hours and finally return to sleep until daybreak. This was referred to as 'second-sleep'. If I could ever get to bed early enough, I would consider trying this...

Adrian 'love-to-sleep-but-hate-to-go-to-bed' Bozman

Aneel said...

Congrats Starrettess!!

In any case I slept close to 11 hours last night. I agree mostly with the cool place to sleep. If I am even a little warm my quality of sleep diminishes dramatically.

Eugene said...

Heard the news... congrats!

So it sounds like the ~5 hours of sleep I get on most nights probably isn't enough... huh.

Ross Naughton said...

On the basis of the foregoing comments, it seems safe to say: Congrats, Juliet and Kelly! Hope all are well.

Anonymous said...

Just heard the news, CONGRATULATIONS MOM & DAD! Jen and I are SO happy for you! We'll be thinking of you and sending you all our best!

Kevin

meg said...

if anyone's interested in helping out the new family of four with prepared meals...email me...i'm working out a schedule
smeghankearney @ gmail.com

Ian said...

congratulations on the new addition you guys! Hope mommy and baby are doing well.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the new addition to your family! I hope that everyone is doing well.

Damian

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!
-Kathy

Anonymous said...

woah, congrats!

raj

sean M said...

Many Congratulations. Good timing with the sleep writeup.

Anonymous said...

Congrats!!!!! A new future cfitter. Sleeping is the most fun thing to do in the world.

Lucas

Anonymous said...

Congrats guys, cant wait to see what the tatoo on your left leg is going to look like. -dave

Corrine said...

Yeah for Baby Girls!

Congratulations!

C.J. Martin - CFSD said...

K-Star,

Congratulations to you and your beautiful family.

Thanks for the reminder on the importance of sleep. I whole-heartedly agree that it is part of the trifecta and have included hours slept as a part of every exercise journal I have kept. It is, however, the component that I have never been able to manage. I sleep between 4 to 5 hours most nights. I understand the consequences, but have yet to find a way to make enough time for my job as a lawyer, training myself and others, and sleep. Sleep always loses. Over the past 2-3 months I have realized that as a trainer, my chronic sleep deprivation sends as mixed a message to my clients as would smoking or ignoring my nutrition entirely. It has also had some brutal effects on my performance. Despite steady doses of CrossFit and good nutrition, including increasing block prescriptions and fat intake, I continue to lose lean muscle mass. I am down 10 pounds in 7 months, and at 142 lbs., that's a lot. I was speaking with Tony Budding (who also works well into his sleeping hours) yesterday about his experiment for a couple of weeks with getting more than 7 hours of sleep per night. In that span of time, he hit 4-5 new PRs. That's impressive, and inspiring. I am embarking on my own experiment (starting tomorrow) of getting 8 hours of sleep each night for 3-4 weeks. I am hopeful and will keep you posted.

I hope the little one allows you a few hours at a stretch. Congrats again.

C.J. Martin - CrossFit San Diego

Annie said...

KStarr and Juliet...
From reading the comments here, I am going to guess that the newest addition has arrived and congratulations are in order! Hope all is well, and once we're a foursome also, we'll have to get together for a non-slumber slumber party!
Great post on sleep and the lack of. Although we all know sleep is important, some of us don't know or understand exactly why--especially as athletes, sleep is so crucial to our performance. Thanks for the reminder.
much love....annie sakamoto CFSCC

Diane Fu said...

Congrats Kstar and Juliet! You guys now have a super family of athletes!

beccarussell said...

WHERE ARE THE PICTURES??? Come on!!! I want to see baby Callie!!

Yes, I know I am being impatient and selfish.

Big long distance love going to the beautiful family!

And Lucas, if you think sleep is "the most fun thing to do in the world," you need to get laid. No offense.

Anonymous said...

Becca, try to save insults for people you dont know, or in your case propositions for when you get back and can say them in person.

Lucas

raj said...

talk about a thread veering off-topic...that's pretty epic.

FilthyBrit said...

Getting laid is never off topic.

Corrine said...

Anyone know what the 6am workout for Weds was?

Adrian said...

Hey now, that's cheating!

-Boz

Corrine said...

Damn, you got me! And quick.

beccarussell said...

Oh, I get it... we have moved from discussions of sleep to discussion of dreams. I can see the connection...though where I come from we call them "long shots."

Lucus, you know I am kidding. I too love sleep... I just wouldn't say it was "the most fun thing to do in the world."

Dutch said...

Kstar,
Congrats to you and the growing family. I look forward to meeting the newest addition.

-Dutch-

Hollis said...

Many happy thoughts, love to all. congrats.

hollis

Anonymous said...

Congrats KStar and family. As for sleep, don't worry; sleep is a crutch - you're ok as long as you're not halucinating.

-Marty aka Sleepy Ranger