In the latest episode of the Effortless Swimming Podcast, Andre Obradovic talks about the importance of sleep. Andre is a mindset, health, and well-being coach. He's also a runner and triathlete. He shares with us his knowledge and experience of sleep and how it can affect your performance in the pool, plus how it affects your decision making and effectiveness when it comes to work, study, family and sport.
Notes on sleep:
- When you're sleeping, the bulk of your growth hormones are released. This function helps with muscle repair.
- Sleep is the time when your brain is recovering. It's the time when your brain takes stock of your day and tries to organise/make sense of your everyday life. 7 or 8 hours is normal for a fully grown adult. 9-10 hours is recommended for teens and 10+ hours for younger kids.
- A nap can be useful. Studies have shown it helps to increase cognitive function, alertness and skill absorption. In the podcast, Andre suggests taking power naps throughout the day. He says “If you're feeling tired then take a power nap, but no more than 20 minutes!”
- One bad night of sleep won't throw off your performance but sustained periods of poor sleep will begin to have a negative effect in numerous areas.
- The guys on the podcast talk about technology that you can use to track your sleep data and identify areas where your sleep routine can be improved.
When you don't get enough sleep:
- Your body produces less of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). Resulting in reduced muscle repair and testosterone production, leading to less muscle and more fat.
- You'll experience a negative impact on mood, judgement, and co-ordination.
- Your fatigue time decreased – You get tired more quickly.
- Your perceived exertion is increased. This means that things feel physically harder than they usually would.
- Body heat management takes a negative hit.
- Production of the hormone that is associated with stress (cortisol) is increased.
- You may experience increased appetite, which can lead to weight gain.
- Your immune system is becoming less effective, meaning you'll get sick more easily.
- Long term sleep deprivation has been linked to diabetes, obesity, heart disease and numerous other serious health issues.
The biggest thing that Andre says he has found with his sleep studies is that people are going to bed with their smart phones, and that is a key reason to why they're experiencing sleep deprivation. He says the best thing you can do to improve sleep in your household is to ban phones/electronics from the bedrooms and buy yourself an old-fashioned alarm clock!