Optimize your Daily Performance with Better Sleep
Work, training, kids, cook and grocery shop. Whether you are an ‘everyday athlete’ with children and a career, or a top athlete, you may be walking around with the belief that you need to do as much as possible to achieve your goals. Exercising is obviously really important. However, in our society there is an inappropriate belief: namely that the most successful people sleep a maximum of 4 hours a night – or just sleep very, very little. Can this be true?
Myth about Sleep
Luckily it is not, because sleep is very important. The myth with the 4 hour sleep possibly comes from Anders Ericsson’s famous study of violinists, which Malcom Gladwell made known with his 10,000 hour rule. The rule you may have heard of says the following: “The sooner you reach 10,000 hours of training, the greater the chance of becoming part of the elite within an area.”
Anders Ericsson’s study showed that the best violinists practiced more than the others. However, it is less well known that the study showed that the second most important factor for performance was sleep – and that the best violinists slept an average of 8.6 hours every 24 hours. Almost 9 hours of sleep every night.
Sleep and our Physical & Mental Performance
The most athletic animals on the planet, the felines, typically sleep 16 hours a day. It is not only in the animal kingdom that the importance of a good night’s sleep is gaining ground. Science shows clear connections between sleep and our physical and mental performance.
Among other things, Arianna Huffington, the woman behind the Huffington Post, has just published the book Thrive. In the book, she describes how she herself have used sleep as a performance-optimizing factor.
In the World of Sports
Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid have specially equipped a sleeping center at the training facility. This allows players to sleep as much and as best as possible. Cristiano is rumored to sleep at least 10 hours a day. Protect your sleep and optimize the quality of your sleep to improve your performance in all aspects of life.