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Old 08-30-2011, 07:08 AM   #1
Zane Jones
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Is sleep the first thing we sacrifice?

I've been an avid reader of this forum for a while now and I'm very appreciative of the dialog and contribution of the forum members. Regardless of the nutritional plan being discussed, I've noticed that when it comes to sleep people nearly always say two things:

- "Regular, quality sleep of 8-9 hours a night is instrumental in optimizing your progress toward a fitness goal (weight loss, lean gain, etc...)"
- "I need to get more sleep."

The crossfit community is generally made up of highly productive individuals and it's not surprising that the busy lives we lead give us less time in the sack. But, for all the effort we seem to put into the food we eat, why does sleep, which is universally viewed as important, seem to be the first thing we sacrifice? Also, for those of us who have poor quality irregular sleep patterns, how badly are we hurting our progress or health?

I've read a couple things on sleep, but I'm looking for any sort of resource people-in-the-know might have and also any sort of testimonial from people have changed up their sleep patterns have seen results.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:08 AM   #2
Christen Holloway
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Re: Is sleep the first thing we sacrifice?

I focus more on my sleep than I do on any sort of nutrition. I will get like 10 hours of sleep and then wake up and I'm still tired! I have always been a lean person, and never have worked out though.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:48 AM   #3
Scott Butler
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Re: Is sleep the first thing we sacrifice?

I find that if i over sleep ( more than 7 or 8 hours ) im ruined for the day.

It honestly affects my workouts, I have more energy / strength / motivation to workout if i have between 6 - 8 hours of a night.
Any more and its a struggle to find the motivation to workout, eat right etc.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:50 AM   #4
Doug Blankenship
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Re: Is sleep the first thing we sacrifice?

For your weekend warrior type that does CF 4-5 days a week, sleep isn't that big of deal. Some on this board seriously overly exaggreate how much sleep someone needs.

To answer your question though, sleep is probably the first thing that people will sacrifice.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:25 PM   #5
Andrew Milligan
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Re: Is sleep the first thing we sacrifice?

I know it's the first thing I sacrifice. I already get between 5 and 6 on a good night.
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:06 PM   #6
Greg Pellegrini
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Re: Is sleep the first thing we sacrifice?

The number of hours of sleep you get doesn't determine your "sleep health" as much as the quality of your sleep. If you get a couple hours of solid deep/REM sleep, your body will be rested enough. If you wake up inbetween sleep cycles and not in the middle of one, then you won't wake up feeling groggy. I don't think we "sacrifice" sleep, we just don't understand it as well. We listen to our bodies during, before, and after workouts, we should also do the same before and after sleep (guess you can't really do "during" unless you wake up in the middle of the night). Start a sleep log, record when you go to bed, when you wake up, how groggy/tired you feel, activities before/after bed, food before/after bed, how many times you woke up, etc etc...You may start recognizing a pattern that yields a good night's rest.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:55 PM   #7
Patrick Midgley
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Re: Is sleep the first thing we sacrifice?

Mark Sisson from Mark's Daily Apple has some great thoughts on sleep in his book, [u]The Primal Blueprint[u].

I'm also in the camp of liking between 7-8 hours. If I get more, I feel lethargic. The most important thing for me is to make sleep a routine, and to make sure I gradually wind down and eliminate distractions later in the evening.
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:56 AM   #8
Zane Jones
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Re: Is sleep the first thing we sacrifice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Pellegrini View Post
The number of hours of sleep you get doesn't determine your "sleep health" as much as the quality of your sleep. If you get a couple hours of solid deep/REM sleep, your body will be rested enough. If you wake up inbetween sleep cycles and not in the middle of one, then you won't wake up feeling groggy. I don't think we "sacrifice" sleep, we just don't understand it as well. We listen to our bodies during, before, and after workouts, we should also do the same before and after sleep (guess you can't really do "during" unless you wake up in the middle of the night). Start a sleep log, record when you go to bed, when you wake up, how groggy/tired you feel, activities before/after bed, food before/after bed, how many times you woke up, etc etc...You may start recognizing a pattern that yields a good night's rest.
This is a good idea. I usually only record hours slept (it's a field in the daily tracking pages in WODbooks.) How does a person get better quality sleep? Black out drapes, turn off lights from electronics, avoid TV/Computer time before bed?
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:44 AM   #9
David Fletcher
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Re: Is sleep the first thing we sacrifice?

It really depends on the person. If I average 7 hours a night or less, after about a week I'm extremely irritable, drink increasingly more coffee each day, have no energy to do anything once my coffee wears off, and I'm effectively a working zombie. I also feel like a truck ran me over every time I wake up, and my performance in the gym shows it.

I need a minimum of 8 hours to feel normal, and closer to 9 to feel good.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:02 AM   #10
Alicia Sloan
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Re: Is sleep the first thing we sacrifice?

Unfortunately not a choice for some of us anyways. If anyone here can tell me how to get a solid 9 hour (or hell, 6 hour) sleep with a baby, and not neglecting their needs for food/security, let us know, you would become an instant billionaire
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