“It’s bedtime buddy, time to close those eyes.”

The nightly phrase I say to my son as he approaches his first hour of fighting bedtime…. %@&*!

I hope it doesn’t take you that long to wind down for bed. Unless of course you are also a stubborn toddler. In which case well done on being able to read this.

Talking sleep this week friends, what’s optimal, how to plan your week out and set yourself up for success. I back it up with an article from “Power Athlete” the guys that used to run the CrossFit Football turned sports specific program and an infographic from precision nutrition because…. who doesn’t like an easy to follow infographic!!

Have you ever payed attention to how much sleep you get? Or how you feel when you wake each morning? If not, your homework for the next week is to track your sleep, did you wake at all during the night, do you feel rested when you wake and how much are you getting?

The article below discusses the impact an athletes sleep has on athletic performance and recovery in high school/college age athletes. It’s actually very interesting to see the impact just a little more sleep had for their athletes.

Click here to read the Power Athlete Article

So why share an article discussing sleep for athletes in their teens/early twenties with an audience that is for the most part made up of 30, 40 and 50 somethings(to the others thanks for checking us out!)?

That answer- many of our crossfitters, bootcamp members and PT clients workout at reasonably high intensities 5+ days a week. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s probably a duck.. right?

As aspiring athletes we do everything we can to see improvement in and out of the gym. Which means we push ourselves in the gym sometimes to pretty high intensities. Many of us have committed to a quality meal plan but still are not seeing the results we feel we should be. What gives? I train hard and eat right why no 6-pack summer coach?

The answer to that question may be something as simple as sleep. Your goal each week should be to get a total of at least 50 hours between naps and over night. If you’re not a nap person that means just over 7 hours of sleep a night which is just above the minimum for a long healthy adult life. I personally would like to see you closer to 60 or more if you are going to drop the hammer in workouts 5+days a week.

The best and easiest way to know where you are is to track it. There are quite a few devices out now that track your sleep, some more accurate than others. We really just need some basic info to come up with a plan so a device may not be needed. Here’s what we need when do you actually fall asleep(not lay in bed), are you restless, when do you actually wake and do you/or could you nap? Once you have that info we can dial up a game plan.

I will use myself as an example-
Sunday night through Wednesday night I typically get between 5.5 and 6.5 hours of sleep. To keep it simple lets make that 6 each(that’s my norm), so 24 hrs total. Which means if I don’t plan to nap I need to get 26 hrs of sleep between Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights bare minimum. Thankfully my party all night til the sun comes up days are long behind me but even with going to bed at a reasonable time that’s tough for me to get. It’s very hard for me to sleep much later than 6/630am no matter what the day is… Just ask my wife it drives her crazy…. I swear I’m quiet when I leave the room.

I too like to get after it in my workouts, although I usually only hit it hard 4x a week. My sleep pattern and recovery are the driving factor behind not adding a 5th high intensity day to my schedule. I can optimize my training by managing my recovery and game planning my nightly routine as well as planning naps.

If I got less than 6 hrs of sleep I’ll do my best to grab a 30-45 min nap after lunch. I usually get one of those a week but for arguments sake lets say I got two 45 min naps this week. That now brings my number up to 25.5 leaving me with 24.5 to go and 3 days!! I’ll catch 7-8 hrs Thurs-Sat which gets me close to the 50s. I’ll usually grab a nap both Sat and Sun which gets me to mid 50’s or sometimes 60 depending on the sleep I get Friday/Sat night when I don’t get to be at the gym early.

I share this with you not because I want you to think my schedule is crazy, I personally don’t think it is. But to show you how to break out your week. Some of your schedules are ever changing but some of you are more routine like mine. If your schedule is pretty straight forward and you don’t have a sleep plan yet. You are missing a piece to the puzzle. If your schedule is crazier than mine, traveling sales, real estate etc than it’s even more important to be prepared each week with a plan. If you travel I suspect you make your schedule. Give yourself time to get to where you need to be with enough time to wind down and catch some ZZZs!

Precision Nutrition shares some great tips on how to optimize your sleep in the infographic here! Check it out!!

Email us with any questions.
[email protected]