It might seem counterintuitive to accept that doing less (i.e sleeping/resting) will faciliate your ability to do more. But the facts are in: your body inarguably needs some time-out time in order to actually function at peak performance. Why’s this? Well, apart from the ostensibly obvious reason that repeatedly choosing to train rather than to sleep will hamper your athletic abilities simply by nature of your being tired, what little gains you do manage to eek out will be curtailed by your body’s reduced ability to recover. This is because, as a recent Bleacher Report article states, trainig only provides the stimulus needed to increase capabailities such as speed and strength – but the actual adaptations occur during times of rest.
If you are continually training without adequate rest you are merely overstimulating your body and not allowing the opportunity for all your work to materialize.
But don’t just take our word for it! Professionals in both the academic and athletic spheres are becoming increasingly aware of the importance and advantages of getting enough rest, and are taking steps to investigate and implement their findings. For instance, studies are being done exploring the direct correlation between sleep duration and athletic performance at highly accredited institutions such as Stanford University. Athletic trainers are then using these findings as grounding to invest a great deal of capital in supplying their athletes with the tools to up their recovery game – and they’re doing some pretty cool stuff! Athletes, particularly in Europe, are reportedly being supplied with sleep pods, personalized mattresses, and daily questionnaires all in the hopes of reaching their peak rest performance. In fact, some teams across the pond have even contracted sleep coaches! Talk about taking your sleep to the next level!
But you don’t have to be an elite athlete – or even an athlete at all – to priortize getting rest.
Resting does absolute wonders for the mind as well as for the body. Sleeping increases your alertness, awareness, acquity, and mental well-being. Basically, if you sleep well you’ll not only be at the top of your intellectual game, you’re also more likely to be in a much better mood!
So, the next time you’re thinking about skipping another hour of sleep – whether it be to fit in another gym sesh or to stay up late cranking out a procastinated work report – consider prioritizing your rest instead. You might just find that your productivity and efficacy increases so much as a result, that you won’t even need to put in the extra work next time.