Research has shown that extended periods of sleep deprivation can lead to amnesia, delusions, and hallucinations. Not getting enough rest for shorter stretches can cause forgetfulness, sour moods and irritability. Everyone can relate to that because we’ve all been there. Did you know the human body can operate without food longer than it can without sleep?
Getting a sufficient amount of rest is important because rest equals recovery. Recovery is the key to making consistent progress. When you go through a hard training session, you damaged your body. You stress your muscular, respiratory, circulatory, skeletal and endocrine systems. These systems must have time to be repaired or the body will not respond as it should. That means supplying the various cells with nutrients. And getting enough rest to allow the body to recuperate fully. If that doesn’t happen, you will not be ready for the next workout. In addition, a tired body does not operate at full capacity. This means form will be off and workload will be down. When your technique is sloppy, the chance of getting injured goes way up. Poor sessions also work on your confidence: too many in a row and your performance starts going downhill.
Sleep is simply crucial to overall health and well-being.
Consider these facts:
- When you sleep, your higher brain centres go into temporary retirement so they can go about the essential business of repairing and recuperating.
- This downtime allows the muscular system and—even more importantly—the nervous system to recharge.
- One of the key events that occur during deep sleep is the body’s release of growth hormone. HGH is critical for making repairs, maintaining tonus in the muscles and keeping fat in the cells.
- When a person is deprived of a sufficient amount of sleep, even for a single night, it can have a very negative effect on the immune system. If this is continued for several days, the number of immune-system cells drops drastically.
Bottom line. Get more sleep. I never get 8 hours a night. So I’m a big fan of the power nap and use them whenever I can.
The original article was written by Bill Starr.
Also, check out earlier blog posts (in Nov and Dec 2017) for more info on rest and recovery and active recovery.