In the words of Matt Walker, the world famous sleep scientist, “sleep is the biologic support system!”
I agree with Dr. Walker’s statement. Sleep is a form of support that gives you the power to know when you are rested, recovered from the activities of yesterday and able to make good decisions under pressure.
There are 3 steps to learning how to make use of sleep as a source of support.
Establish and maintain 8–10 hours per night sleep habit.
The exact amount of sleep is an individual matter. Some standards involve going to bed and getting up at the same time. It seems your brain likes consistency. If your sleep is effective, you should wake up feeling rested and recovered from the previous day's activity.
Note: If you have days when your activity level is extremely high leaving you feeling fatigue or having difficulty with focusing on the tasks at hand, you might want to experiment with 20-30 minute power naps.
A power nap involves deep breathing that increases relaxation and slows the heart rate. It includes visualization that allows you to focus on sensations and feelings rather than linear thinking and planning. Naps of this nature can help you re energize and also make you more efficient, and help with concentration, memory, mood, and stress management.
When you are confronted with a challenge, learn how to settle down and decide what you want to have happen.
The typical behavior under stress is to lose sleep due to worry, fear, anxiety, and thoughts about the worst thing that can happen.
Getting the right amount of sleep and using power naps can help you to build confidence in your ability to focus on being up for a challenge. To establish the clarity of purpose, to see yourself resolving the challenge and moving forward in the best possible way.
In review the goal here is to recognize the power that sleep has to:.
Provide the stability to prepare you to meet your challenges.
Recognize that being rested and refreshed helps support you in meeting the challenge, enduring the challenge, and then recovering from the challenge.
My intention for writing this article is to reinforce the power of sleep, combined with power naps to help you recover, feel rested and build confidence in your ability to manage challenges. As an athlete, I learned the importance of quality sleep: the sleep that allows you to sleep through the night and wake feeling rested and restored, happy to be alive and ready for the opportunity to face the challenges of the day.
In addition, as a performance coach, I have studied the science of getting quality sleep. Science indeed has provided the medical research and technology that allows us to study, analyze, measure, and control the ability to get quality sleep up to and including the ability to prolong our lives. In addition they have clearly demonstrated that the process for getting quality sleep is an individual matter. I hope this information will help you to decide what that process is for you.