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Sleep like an elite athlete

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Sleep like an elite athlete

Even the elite . . .

In 1993, K. Anders Ericsson released his finding that elite performers needed 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to reach elite performance, a concept made more famous by Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers: The story of success.

There was a second, often missed point in this study: these intense, achievement-oriented, hyper-scheduled people also averaged 8 hours, 36 minutes of sleep.

They made the connection between sleep and performance and knew to make sleep a priority.

So why don’t we?

The average Canadian gets 6.9 hours of sleep.

Lack of sleep, even a minor deficit affects our judgement, ability to perform simple as well as complex tasks and our ability to experience joy. 

In the end, if we slept all that our body needed, we would, though better decisions and more effective action, be more accomplished in life and be happier. Sounds like a no-brainer.

What if we want to sleep more but can’t. We make an exception and get to bed really early and then . . .  nothing. We can’t fall asleep, stay asleep or we don’t have a restful sleep. Now what do we do?

One idea that Arianna Huffington suggests is to prepare yourself for sleep mentally and physically by creating a pre-sleep routine that is full of relaxing and non-stressful activities. Set an evening alarm to go off at the same time every evening. It indicates the beginning of your pre-sleep ritual. An hour before bedtime, start to power down - all electronics are shut off, make lunches, select clothing, and possibly read a not-too-exciting book.

If this routine is followed consistently, you will increase the likelihood of falling asleep more quickly and having a more restful sleep.


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Have you you found anything that helped someone with sensory issues? Something that isn't common sense or common knowledge? Would love to hear about it. Thanks.

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