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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 06-27-2007, 07:41 PM   #1
Ben Kimmerle
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Aside from the fact that sleep is extremely important in recovery, does it matter how you get your hours of sleep? Say, for example, I sleep 7 hours at night, and then take an hour nap during the day, does that equal an eight hour sleep at night? It would seem that it wouldn't, since the 8 hours is a longer, deeper sleep, but common sense isn't always right.
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:18 PM   #2
George Mounce
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Disclaimer: I am not a sleep doctor. I only know what I do from self study on the internet and Air Force Flight Surgeons pounding this information into me endlessly.

Ben, no. 7 hours = 7 hours. A 1 hour nap is a 1 hour nap. They do not add up. While yes the time adds up, physiologically it does not. You can never regain sleep you have missed (i.e. sleeping 6 hours one night, then 10 hours the next night to make up for the 2 you missed). You also can not create a sleep bank by sleeping more one night. I sure wished it worked that way.

For four years I spent a good deal of time flying 26-30 hour missions, and normally in a week I would get about 3 nights of sleep, the rest augmented by naps. I continually felt like crap. It was beaten into our head by Air Force doctors on how to fight sleep deprivation, and the overall effects.

The overall process of sleep is actually very complicated, and is very much linked to your brainwaves to ensure you reach the deepest portions for active recovery both physically and mentally.

Our doctors recommended that you sleep 7-8 hours a night to ensure that when you wake you awaken on the upslope of the brainwave curve. If you wake up feeling very groggy it is often because you were awakened during the lowest part of the curve in the deepest part of sleep.

To fight this it is better to plan sleep around those curves. This means napping for less then 1 hour, or ensuring you nap for 2+ hours. Normal sleep should also allow for 7-8 hours, I usually sleep around 7.5 hours. I have not needed an alarm clock since I was a small child, I am that in tune to how my sleeping habits are.

For more interesting information you may want to do some research into the circadian rhythm, your body's internal clock.

(Message edited by gdmv on June 27, 2007)
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Old 06-27-2007, 11:38 PM   #3
Seth Hollen
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George is right for the most part.
I am a registered sleep tech (polysomnographic technologist...say that 5 times fast!)
I have worked in sleep over 8years now. As a matter of fact I am typing this from the sleep lab right now:-)

Sleep: you need 7-9 hours (yes 9) some people need a little more, some less. Some people can GET BY WITH LESS, that doesn't mean they NEED less. We can get by with stimulants and willpower if need be but your body needs the rest that's when it recovers and heals, it also processes memory's.

My first thought is why do you need a nap? maybe the 7hours isn't enough for you and you are sleep deprived. Or you may have a sleeping disorder.

Ideally sleep should be in a quiet, dark, cool room. NO TV or radio! this is called proper sleep hygiene.
No caffeine withing about 4 -6 hours of bedtime. Caffeine affects people differently. I work with someone who can't have caffeine after her first cup in the AM, or they will be up all night. I avoid it about 6 hours before bedtime.

Try to have a consistent bedtime and wake time...EVEN ON WEEKENDS!

NO exercise 2-3 hours before bedtime, it revs up the metabolism.

If you snore you should go talk to a sleep specialist. Snoring is a sign or resistance to the airflow and can be an indicator of sleep apnea (skinny people can have apnea also)

A lot of doctors don't know anything about sleep. They ask if you get 7-8 hours and that's it. There are or 80 types of sleeping disorders. I've often seen sleeping disorders mis-diagnosed as something else (and treated as something else)

Here are some sites to check out, all W/F safe.

http://www.sleepfoundation.org
http://www.sleepnet.com
http://www.stanford.edu/~dement/

Good luck!

BTW Sleep techs have the worst sleeping habits of anyone! :-)


Seth
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Old 06-28-2007, 07:02 AM   #4
Brad Davis
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LOL, it's funny reading sleep threads with a newborn in the house!

FWIW, I haven't gotten more than 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep for the last 4 months. Doesn't seem to be affecting me. Just did Fran for the first time since pre-baby and knocked 4 minutes off my PR!

I have no doubt that it's better to get "ideal" sleep, but I'm starting to think it doesn't really make a very large difference. Maybe I would've knocked 5 minutes off my PR if I was sleeping better, for all I know. Life's just not that ideal sometimes.

(Message edited by dbradd on June 28, 2007)
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Old 06-28-2007, 09:37 AM   #5
Chris Melanson
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I hear you Brad! I have not gotten more than 6hrs of broken sleep a night for 5 years now - not since the twins arrived.

I know I need like 9hrs and I do my best to get it, but it just ain't happening - what with the bad dreams, bed wettings, the crawling in, the putting back, the "Sleep with me please Daddy!", then the freakin dog starts barking... is it still chaos when it becomes the norm?

I'm always tired, except when I'm on the WOD. I have no doubt that my performance would increase if I could get my zzz's - I think over the long-term it does wear you down, even if you seem to get used to it.

Sleep has got o be the hardest thing to control, the gym work is the easy part.
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Old 06-28-2007, 01:01 PM   #6
Tom Ellison
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Yeah, I'm in an intenstive language program for the summer and due to the classes/workload it's hard to get more than 5-6 hours of sleep a night, except on the weekends when I get 8-9. Normally I sleep more and I can DEFINITELY feel the difference, especially by Thursday or Friday. I don't feel much different in the WODs, but I'm sure my performance suffers.
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:45 PM   #7
Ben Kimmerle
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Yeah I always say I'm going to get to bed early and get "enough" sleep, but it just never happens. Being a college student my natural "bedtime" is somewhere around 12 or 1 am, and I find it REALLY hard to go to sleep before then. Working on a farm right now in the summer and having to get up at 6 in the morning makes it hard too, because I'd have to go to bed at around 10pm, and I don't know if I'm tired enough at that point to fall asleep.
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:46 PM   #8
Ben Kimmerle
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And thanks for all your responses!
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Old 06-28-2007, 09:04 PM   #9
Brian Reckdenwald
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I know that reading Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, Survival is a good read for those who are interested in health. It recommends getting 9.5 hours of sleep in a completely dark room.
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Old 06-28-2007, 09:27 PM   #10
Brad Davis
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Brian, I'm a little curious what terrible things the authors think will happen to those of us who are never gonna get 9.5 hours of sleep per day.

I just don't know one adult with kids who EVER gets that kind of sleep! :dunno:
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