Professionals ranging from swimmers to runners, dancers, mathematicians, musicians and high-profile CEOs can all benefit from increased quality and quantity of rest. While many CEOs claim to not sleep enough, the truth is that for the body to perform at its peak, we need to sleep well – and for around seven hours per day. Too much sleep can be as detrimental as too little, but hitting the sweet spot is not just good for mental focus, but it also helps tissues and organs to repair and regenerate while also normalising hormone production (including those that control appetite, hunger and overall mood).
Sleep is when our bodies are able to repair themselves. Growth hormones are produced while we’re at rest and not eating, and protein synthesis takes place, which in turn helps stimulate muscle growth and repair. If you’ve worked out hard and are feeling a bit stiff and sore, one of the best things you can do is tuck in for a good night of sleep.
From a mental health point of view, while sleep and its impact on capacity to learn and retain information are currently not well understood, a number of studies – both on humans and animals – suggest that sleep quality and duration do indeed affect learning and retention. Those of us that are sleep deprived are less able to focus on tricky tasks and maintain attention for long periods, which in turn leads to difficulty in learning. Furthermore, there’s evidence to suggest that sleep actually helps repair brain cells – just like muscles – to help consolidate and retain memories. This article from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School details the impact that certain phases of sleep can have on cognitive ability.
If your sleep habits are causing concern – and if you feel you’re not performing at your best – Koala recommends taking a look at WebMD’s simple Sleep Habit Assessment to help examine at how you sleep, and how well you rest (as well as the potential impact habits are having on your overall health). We’ve taken great care to develop mattresses to help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer and wake feeling refreshed. All of which are vital considerations for success – both mentally and physically.