T Nation

So How Important Is Sleep...

Nice read on espn.com.

This is the important part:

“Most of the time I used to get up at 6 in the morning, but now I’ve moved my training back to the evenings,” he said. “I started averaging 10 hours of sleep a night, and some nights I was getting like 12 to 14 hours.”

The results have been profound.

“Rest is probably the No. 1 thing. It’s really paid off because right now I’m sitting at a place that I don’t think I’ve ever been in my career,” he said. “Where I am right now, it’s scary. I will say that, because now I can see that my best football is definitely ahead of me.”

I wish I could sleep like that. I average 6-7 hours a night.

Obviously the amount of sleep a person requires varies. An athlete like Lewis may benefit more from extended rest, but I can’t imagine ever needing 14 hours. I mean, thats like, a lot.

4 hours or so is about average for me unless I am really wiped out for some reason and then maybe 6. I just don’t sleep more than that.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
4 hours or so is about average for me unless I am really wiped out for some reason and then maybe 6. I just don’t sleep more than that.[/quote]

I feel better now.

I average 7.5 hours/night. I could do with 9-10. I really could…[sigh]

The amount of sleep I need varies, but if I sleep until I wake without an alarm it would normally run about 7-10 hours. 10 would be when I am really beat which is infrequent. About 8-9 is pretty normal. The longest I slept was 24 hours straight when I got home from Basic Training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. I also slept about 24 hours after having wisdom tooth surgery.

As far as the importance of sleep, it is probably one of the most important elements of training (or health). Without proper sleep no diet or training regimen will really succeed, at least in my opinion.

People’s sleep requirements are different and heavily dependent on average activity level. Not counting any actual problems you have falling asleep if you feel like you’re getting enough then you probably are.

You couldn’t make me sleep 10 hours, I’d have to have a heavy labor job and train most days of the week to want that kind of rest.

I wish I had that kind of free time.

I thought this was gonna be the stupid question of how much sleep you can get away with. Thank god it’s not.

On that note I knew a kid who didn’t really understand how sleep worked. He totally neglected the neck-down recovery aspects of sleep and for months followed his own rule that as long as you slept in multiples of 45 minutes and woke up after a R.E.M. cycle you’d feel refreshed when you woke up.

While this may be true with regard to getting the perfect daytime nap and may make you feel mentally recovered it obviously doesn’t give your body the hours needed for optimal physical recovery, hormone release, neurotransmitter release, and all that jazz.

For almost a semester and a half he slept only 4 hours a night and started every morning with caffeine soap. Funny kid, but like most people he had no athletic abilities to speak of.

[quote]Hagar wrote:
Tiribulus wrote:
4 hours or so is about average for me unless I am really wiped out for some reason and then maybe 6. I just don’t sleep more than that.

I feel better now.
[/quote]

It’s not like I have insomnia and feel drained all the time either. I don’t know what it is. Been like that since I an remember. Even when I was drinking a lot I didn’t sleep much more that that.

Sleep needs are definitely related to physical workload. I have worked long office hours in the past with less gym time and I have worked short work weeks with a lot of volume in the gym. When I am really physically active I need more sleep without a doubt. About 9 hours is ideal for me. Also, I try to not set an alarm when possible so I wake up when my body is ready. I do notice I feel more refreshed when I do this.

Sleep rules. One of the most important things I can think of to function optimally in and out of the gym and feel good in general.

When my schedule wasn’t very busy, I would go to bed around midnight, wake up at 3 AM to piss and eat protein, then sleep until 9 AM. This worked great for me, but lately I’ve only been getting seven hours and I can truly feel the difference.

Note to self…less forum time, more sleepy time.

I wish I only required 4-7 hours. I need 10-12. thank God I have the time.

I am a college student and just completed my freshman year. Sleep at school was absolutely terrible–I averaged between 3-4 hours per night (probably 6-7 on weekends).

I gained almost no muscle while at school.

Since I’ve gotten home, I’ve been sleeping 7-9 hours per night. The results are amazing–I’ve never gained mass like this before.

There are alot of other factors holding me back at school (nutrition, etc.) but I do believe that sleep has ALOT to do with it.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
Hagar wrote:
Tiribulus wrote:
4 hours or so is about average for me unless I am really wiped out for some reason and then maybe 6. I just don’t sleep more than that.

I feel better now.

It’s not like I have insomnia and feel drained all the time either. I don’t know what it is. Been like that since I an remember. Even when I was drinking a lot I didn’t sleep much more that that.[/quote]

I get by on 4 hours Sunday night through Thursday night and then try to get 6 hours Friday and Saturday.

I think I work best on 6 hours a night so I’m switching up some job priorities to try and get 6 hours a night 3-4 times per week, hopefully it works well!

On a related note: there is a stupid concepts out there called “sleep debt.”

The idea is that if you’re not getting enough sleep, you have a sleep debt that accumulates like credit card debt. In other words, you need 7-8 hours of sleep (maybe you don’t, but people saying this also say that 7-8 hours is needed by EVERYBODY).

If you get only 6 hours per night Sunday through Thursday, then you have a sleep debt of 5-10 hours!!! You would then need 10-12 hours of sleep on both Friday AND Saturday to catch up!

Of course, most people don’t do this, so the thinking is that most Americans are carrying huge sleep debts that can never be made up!

Of course this is a bunch of crap! I average 6 hours during the week and maybe 7 hours on weekends. There are times when I only get 3-5 hours for a few days in a row. When that happens my mental & physical energy is really off (I have postponed workouts due to this.) But when this happens I find that after one night of 8-9 hours or two nights of 7-8 hours I am fully recovered.

[quote]dancar wrote:
On a related note: there is a stupid concepts out there called “sleep debt.”

The idea is that if you’re not getting enough sleep, you have a sleep debt that accumulates like credit card debt. In other words, you need 7-8 hours of sleep (maybe you don’t, but people saying this also say that 7-8 hours is needed by EVERYBODY).

If you get only 6 hours per night Sunday through Thursday, then you have a sleep debt of 5-10 hours!!! You would then need 10-12 hours of sleep on both Friday AND Saturday to catch up!

Of course, most people don’t do this, so the thinking is that most Americans are carrying huge sleep debts that can never be made up!

Of course this is a bunch of crap! I average 6 hours during the week and maybe 7 hours on weekends. There are times when I only get 3-5 hours for a few days in a row. When that happens my mental & physical energy is really off (I have postponed workouts due to this.) But when this happens I find that after one night of 8-9 hours or two nights of 7-8 hours I am fully recovered. [/quote]

I’m the same way in regards to my sleep. I read that about sleep debt in a Men’s Health. After reading that it made you think you’d drop dead from a heart attack if you didn’t get 8 hours of sleep every single night of your life.

Everyone’s sleep patterns are different. Some need more, some need less. I say, if you wake up and feel tired, you need more sleep. If you wake up and feel refreshed, then you’re in a good zone.

Here’s something else for you guys to discuss:

When I switched to a low-carb, high-fat diet I found I slept better and needed fewer hours. Anybody else noticed this?

[quote]dancar wrote:

Of course, most people don’t do this, so the thinking is that most Americans are carrying huge sleep debts that can never be made up!

[/quote]

Well I’m carrying large financial debt, why not sleep debt!

Of course as a finance guy, I take a different perspective. I like to think of it as “sleep leverage”, it has a much more positive spin to it don’t you think. :slight_smile: