Are You Sleep Deprived?

I take a nap almost every day. I’m not ashamed by that. In fact, I’m quite proud of it. I know what by body needs and what happens when I don’t end up getting enough sleep. Thing is, we live in a society today where most people are walking around like sleep-deprived zombies. A society under the false assumption where less sleep is worn like a badge of honor.

 

So you go around bragging to your co-workers about how little sleep you get each night. Congratulations on being a dumbass. Your body needs sleep, and without it a whole host of issues could rise to the surface. Let’s talk about the mental aspect first. How can you expect your brain to operate at 100% when you keep withholding sleep from it? How can you expect to concentrate fully on a complex task when your brain is screaming for some rest?

 

Going into surgery, would you rather have a surgeon that got 4 hours of sleep the night before or one that got a full night’s rest and is ready to go? I’m willing to beat that you want the guy that has a steady hand and is able to concentrate for long periods of time. Lack of sleep takes away from your ability to think clearly and completely focus on a task. Who wants to continually live in a mental state like this?

 

Physically, you can expect the same type of negative consequences from not sleeping. You might feel a little shaky, not able to lift as much as you usually do, unable to run for long periods of time, unmotivated to do anything physically intensive. Your recovery also suffers when you don’t get adequate amounts of sleep. Sleep is the time when your body repairs itself. When you withhold this, you never seem to fully recover from workouts, meaning that your next workout will suck even more.

 

It’s time to shift from the culture of awarding lack of sleep. We all need it, and many of us don’t get enough of it. I get that there are nights when a full night’s sleep won’t be possible. Sometimes, it’s just part of the job. It’s time like these when those little naps the next day become especially important. Listen to what your body and mind are telling you.


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Jon Griffith specializes in optimizing performance for firefighters & police. Jon is a personal trainer, firefighter, and former U.S. Army infantryman. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and 3 cats.

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