Usain Bolt is considered the greatest sprinter of all time. When asked what he considers to be the most important part of his daily training regime he responded with — Sleep.
He said, “Sleep is extremely important to me — I need to rest and recover in order for the training I do to be absorbed by my body.”
Bolt sleeps for 8 to 10 hours per night and he is not alone. Roger Federer gets 11 to 12 hours sleep per night. Lebron James gets 12 hours of sleep per night.
Good quality sleep has been shown to improve heart function and help with hormonal maintenance and cell repair, as well as boosting memory and improving cognitive function.
Despite various studies concluding that adequate sleep like adequate nutrition and physical activity, is vital to our well-being, society continues to view sleep as a luxury. Sleep deprivation as a badge of honor.
Don’t believe the hype. “Forgoing sleep is like borrowing from a loan shark.” says David H. Hansson author of Rework. “Sure you get those extra hours right now to cover for your overly-optimistic estimation, he says, but at what price? The shark will be back, and if you can’t pay, he’ll break your creativity, morale, and good-mannered nature as virtue twigs.”
The pursuit of success, however you define success, is rarely a sprint. You need to be in it for the long haul. Like a marathon. Sleep plays a key role in that marathon.
With sleep, quality is as important as quantity. To increase your sleep quality start by ensuring that your bedroom is designed for sleep.
A bedroom designed for sleep is a bedroom room without distractions from light, noise and stress. Sleeping gives your body a chance to process everything that happened during the day, repair itself and reset for the next. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary that allows this important work to happen undisturbed.
Here’s a handy infographic that can help you do just that.
Find more science-backed tips here.
If Bolt, Federer and James can make time for sleep then so can you. You may not be vying for a G.O.A.T title but your goals are just as important. Stop sacrificing sleep at the altar of activity. Get some sleep. Get enough sleep. Get enough quality sleep as your body needs and demands.