Sleep for Recovery

Sleep for Recovery

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Sleep for Recovery

We start with sleep and many believe we are sleeping before we start to live. Defining life/pre-life sleep is just science, but can be very subjective.

What is Sleep

“Sleep is a naturally recurring state of mind and body, characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, reduced muscle activity and inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles during rapid eye movement sleep, and reduced interactions with surroundings.” Wikipedia

One of the things that sleep does help with is our bodies/brain management of processing our memories to engage emotions. The emotional response is developed by experiences that are stored, to be accessed the next time that experience happens in the future. Organizing the information we have collected throughout our waking hours is continuous. The many systems and resources that this organization requires need to be supported. Hydration, oxygen, vitamins, and nutrients are all needed in balance. Also, stopping the endless data input that allows our system to organize and store information may be called sleep. Our body systems, with our brain, start developing very early on. When we leave the womb, to start breathing and processing oxygen in our isolated body, it needs “know-how” to do these things. The memory needed to repeat each process is not deliberate by the thought of the brain function and needs to happen automatically the same way every time. When learning how to take in food, there is a learning curve and this continues for many years. Infants sleep a lot, to let their bodies and brains develop.

Get some good rest; you have a big day tomorrow.

Much of our performance comes from our brain directing and controlling our bodies. At this point, there might be some understanding of why sleep helps our brain. The information we need for great performance works best when we do not have to use our conscience and can act without thinking. This “Flow State” happens during activities that have very strong neural pathways and those pathways get built during… sleep. The activity creates the neural pathways, repetition sets them in place and the growth happens later. Through practice and technique, Flow State can be activated to help high performance. Good sleep supports better brain function and allows for top performance.

How to sleep

There has been much study about sleep, breathing, and chemical balance to help with sleep. The first thing we learn to manage is temperature, like moving our body or the covers on purpose. We also notice how light influences our sleep and the time of day we get ready for sleep. Maybe what we eat, drink, and how much time we allow before going to sleep. These are the basics to get to sleep. Staying asleep can be the next challenge, breathing and fluid control are very important. Breathing practice can help prepare for sleep, body position for breathing is important, and breathing techniques to get back to sleep quickly can be learned. Fluid control is usually learned at a young age, and caffeine and alcohol control are later in life. Many endurance activities may demand or allow some nap time and should be used. No one wants to be asleep at the wheel or napping at the office without an alarm to wake on time. The duration of the sleep cycle for Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep from non-REM sleep is important. The time spent cycling in and out of REM sleep can be estimated. Enough time should be allowed for you to get sufficient full cycles to provide the brain and body time to complete their sleep work.

Recovering drug/gambling addict and author, Mike Lindell has invested years in developing products to help us sleep and be comfy. I use My Pillow and it does help me sleep.

Sleep for Recovery

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Charles Bradley

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