The CDC reports that 1 in 3 American adults don’t get enough sleep. That is roughly 69 million people, and that is just in the United States! 69 million people who are feeling the negative effects of sleep deprivation.
People tend to focus on rest days, stretching, warm ups and cool downs in regards to recovery. A lot of people also neglect all of that and just focus on lifting, daily, to try to maximize muscle growth.
However, without adequate sleep, your recovery is greatly diminished. One thing you don’t hear a lot about in the gym is that you aren’t building muscle while you lift, you are actually building it while you sleep. Now don’t take that out of context. It is a relationship that complements each other. You can’t just sleep all the time or work out all the time and expect tremendous growth. It takes a balance, and that balance requires quality sleep.
Rest days are essential, and not to be overlooked. If you’re struggling to make progression in the gym, I urge you to evaluate your sleep patterns.
Whether you are an avid gym junkie, outdoorsman or anything in between, you likely rely on a certain level of performance to get you through your adventures.
It is a proven fact that those who prioritize sleep perform better. Performance is such a unique and diverse word. It isn’t just about athletics, but it also covers any and all minute tasks.
If you want to perform better, you need to get solid nightly sleep, period.
In a world completely full of distractions and glamour, our mental health is challenged daily. Anxiety is all too common, and there’s a number of reasons why.
Sleep deprivation takes a toll on our mental health. It’s crazy how important sleep is to keep us operating smoothly. With just one night of bad sleep, we can experience depression, anxiety and very commonly, irritability. You can fuel yourself with all the caffeine and stimulants in the world, but with little to no sleep, your tank will always be on empty. When you are running on fumes, your brain seems to really magnify the little imperfections, and that’s where the anxiety comes in. Things that aren’t going to bother you normally are going to be a much bigger deal.
If you feel like you’re in a downward spiral, irritated, anxious etc., it could be something as simple as sleep deprivation. Now I’m not a doctor, so don’t expect sleep to be a cure all, because mental disorders can be caused by so many other things. But, if you’re feeling a little off, try to slow down and get some sleep.
Anxiety is a wild roller coaster. I can speak from experience. You don’t know when it’s going to happen, but you can always count on it to throw you off course. And getting to sleep when your anxiety levels are high can be nearly impossible. It’s wild, the harder you try to fight it, the more powerful it takes hold.
One thing that helps me tremendously when my thoughts are racing out of control is to use Dark Mountain Hibernate Gummies. These will slow your thoughts, clear your mind, and pave the way for some of the best sleep you’ve ever experienced. It’s not designed to address anxiety directly, but it will help you get that much needed sleep.
This is another topic that I have a tremendous amount of first-hand experience in. I spent 15 years working on Drilling Rigs. My schedule would flop from nights to days, a minimum of 12 hours per day. Often, it was 18-20 hour days. After just a couple back to back days at 18 hours, my decision-making skills would suffer dramatically. Not only would I catch my mind going completely off task, but when it came time to make a quick decision, it was nearly impossible without delay. Working in an industry like that, any significant delay in action can have some pretty bad consequences. Not only for people, but potentially the environment.
We can also apply this to the greater population. For example, if you are to have inadequate sleep, and then you jump in your car for a trip, you are putting lives at risk. You are operating a 5,000-pound wrecking ball at speeds of 80 miles per hour. If you have just a moment of poor judgement, there’s no forgiveness.
This one is closely related to the last topic, but equally as important.
There have been extensive studies done on how sleep improves memory.
For starters, if you are well rested, you will be able to soak in things much better as they are happening. Whether it’s watching your child take her first steps, or studying hard for an exam, you’ll be much more receptive to it if you aren’t exhausted.
Just think about studying for a big test, I don’t even care what the test is. You got 4 hours of sleep last night, drank a pot of coffee and now you’re “ready” to study. How well do you think you’re going to soak up and retain that information? I don’t care who you are…the answer is going to be bad.
The same goes with active memories. The memories you are making daily with experiences. If you’re tired, you are going to miss out on so many of the small aspects of the wonderful memories. Your brain will patch together some things, but very likely delete some of the other fun stuff that happened along the way.
On a side note, it’s been proven that if you get adequate sleep immediately after studying, you memory will compartmentalize it very well. So if you have a big exam coming up, keep that in mind!
This one is wild. If you’re working hard to knock off some body fat and you hit a plateau that you can’t break, there’s something else at play. Losing weight in general is a fairly simple equation. Burn more calories than you consume. Seriously, it’s that simple. If you’re strict in this regard, you will lose weight. It’s just the way it works. But sometimes, you’ll be trucking along, making some serious progress and then BOOM, you stall. You cut another 500 calories and maybe your weight goes back up! Often, when this happens, it’s directly related to lack of sleep.
Do yourself a favor, and just prioritize sleep, along with your diet and exercise for one week. I’d be willing to bet your plateau will break.
If you need a little help on the nutrition side of this, you can check out our supplements HERE. With the help of our products, you can be sure you are covering all of the bases.
Imagine this, you’ve committed your entire life to never smoking or drinking. Your nutrition is solid and you are in really good shape. You go to your doctor and discover you have high blood pressure. You’ve done everything right, except prioritize sleep.
With inadequate sleep, cardiovascular diseases are more common. Even if you are hitting all of the other healthy items on your checklist, this one can offset them all.
Seriously, prioritize it!
When you sleep, your immune system is still working hard. Your immune system is pumping out proteins, called cytokines. When you are sick, your body needs these to help fight off infection. If you aren’t getting sleep, you aren’t producing enough cytokines, and your recovery is going to take longer.
Lack of sleep also increases the likelihood that you will catch the crud that is going around.
Here’s a crazy one, and honestly, this one is a gradual issue, but it happens!
If you have chronic sleep deprivation, your body will reflect that, and not in a good way.
You can usually pick someone out of a crowd who is sleep deprived from the night before. Tell-tale signs would be bloodshot eyes, possibly pale skin and lack of attention. They might appear to be on “auto-pilot.” That can happen with just one single night of poor sleep.
Now imagine this same guy has been getting 4 hours of sleep per night for years. You’ll notice he has premature wrinkles and dark circles around his eyes. With the added stress of sleep deprivation, he might even have some gray streaks in his hair at a relatively young age.
We only get one body in this lifetime, so we have to do what we can to make it last!
I saved this one for last. I’m not going to put much science into it, because this one is just going to be my opinion. I absolutely love power naps. When I’ve pushed my mind and body to the limit on something, I like to take a power nap for a quick reboot.
Naps are amazing, and as adults, we have really discovered how wonderful they are. If only we could get our children on the same page.
For me, a quick nap can completely transform my attitude and set me up for an afternoon of complete success.
I want to reiterate that we have perfected a sleep aid supplement here at Dark Mountain. If you are one of the 69 million people I mentioned before who suffer from sleep deprivation, I urge you to check out our Hibernate Gummies. For less than 67 cents a night, you can completely turn your performance and mental game around. What have you to lose?!
-Andrew, Dark Mountain Owner
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