The Importance of Sleep

The 6 “S’s” of Sleep

The benefits of sleep are extremely well-documented, but rarely do you ever meet someone who isn’t sleep-deprived in some capacity. Below is a sampling of different areas in life, that I called the “6 S’s”, where increased levels of sleep have been shown to have a positive effect. Most of this information comes from a great book, “Sleeping Your Way to the Top” by two renowned sleep experts William David Brown, PhD, DABSM, CBSM and Terry Cralle, RN, MS.


Proper recovery is vital for maximal strength. Cell tissue repair occurs primarily in stage 3 sleep (slow wave sleep), making sleep extremely important for not only muscle growth, but strength as well.


When we’re sleep deprived the amygdala (which is responsible for emotions) becomes 60% more active. So, our brain begins to handle information differently – instead of processing data primarily though the logical cortex the brain uses this less rational part. If we want to be on top of our game, we need to sleep.


It’s been demonstrated that people are so sleep deprived that they’re just as, if not more impaired than if they were moderately intoxicated. This can explain why being tired surpasses drugs and alcohol as the single most identifiable and preventable cause of accidents in all modes of transportation! More sleep leads to safer travels.


The formula for success is not a matter of working more hours and sleeping less. Sufficient sleep permits higher function on all levels: personal, social, and vocational. Valuing more work over sleep is counter-intuitive, as increased sleep leads to increased quality and quantity of work being completed.


Sleep-deprived people are perceived as less attractive, less healthy, and more tired compared with when they are well rested. If you want to look as good as you can, sleep!


When stressed, ACTH is released which increases cortisol and adrenaline. Prolonged levels of elevated cortisol can have a multitude of negative effects. When sleeping, corticotropin inhibiting factor is released which decreases levels of ACTH, thereby decreasing levels of cortisol and adrenaline. Sleeping is a very effective way of de-stressing.



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Written by Dr. Brandon Buchla, DC, CSCS

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