More on Sleep and Human Nature

Last month, April, was our sleep challenge month. I am happy to report that I have had several people tell me that they made an extra effort to get more sleep. I also know from my experience that this means that many people didn’t make the attempt to get more sleep. This could be because they really don’t believe it makes a difference, don’t care to make a change, or haven’t found a way to make that change. That is a normal part of human nature. Change is not easy. If you don’t have a big “Why” to ignite the will to change or don’t have the tools to make the change, then it probably won’t happen. In this last email on sleep, I want to give you a few more “Whys”, which may ignite the fire to change.

In a recent podcast #1109 with Joe Rogan, neuroscientist Matthew Walker covers the importance of sleep. He discusses many of the same things I have mentioned in earlier emails but I wanted to emphasize a few more. Specifically, he talks about the correlation between all cause mortality and lack of sleep. In other words, those who don’t get adequate sleep (between 7 and 9 hours each night) tend to die at an earlier age. He also talks about the correlation between lack of sleep and cognitive decline, cancer, and Alzheimers disease. Here are a few other ideas he discusses related to lack of sleep:

1. 30% decrease in physical performance
2. Negative Effect on emotional well being
3. Reduced cognitive development
4. Reduced skill acquisition
5. Increase in injuries

The second part of the email regarding human nature was sparked by a conversation I had regarding the above podcast. I was told about the podcast on sleep from a student who mentioned how he was amazed by how important sleep was. I jokingly said, ‘Have you not been reading any of the info I have been sending out this month?”. This reminded me of when Donnie Thompson first came to Alliance for a workshop several years ago. We had a turnout of about 30 people. Donnie was very happy with the turnout and said he would never have gotten that many people for a workshop in Columbia, which is where he lives. I then deemed this type of human nature the “Donnie Thompson Effect”. The moral of this story and what I consider to be part of human nature is that we sometimes overlook the advice from those we are the most familiar with but instead hold in higher regard those far removed. For those with kids or spouses, you have experienced this phenomena. Have you ever offered advise in an area where others consider you an expert but can’t get your loved ones to listen. This is not a judgment but  simply an observation of human nature. Last year, I was trying to get my son to listen to me about training when he was talking about going to the “Y” to workout. I told him we had a new coach coming to the gym and some of his credentials were as follows:

Athletic Accomplishment and sports background;
High School:
Football – all conference lineman
Track- 4:46 mile, 2:05 800 meters

Bodybuilding competition 3 events
Powerlifting: Competition- 320# bench, 500# deadlift
Gym PR’s:
Bench Press- 350
Squat 315 x 20
Deadlift 365 x 20 touch and go
Trap bar Deadlift 367 x 20 for 3 sets
Kipping Pullups  1x 50
1,000 pushup in 45 minutes

Endurance and Crucible Events:
Kokoro Graduate
20X Graduate
Completed 24 Hour Walk

Martial Arts:
Aikido – purple belt
Tae Kwon Do
Jeet Kune Do
Brazilian Jiujitsu- Black Belt
Pan Am Gold Medalist at Black Belt
Medalist at blue, purple, and brown at Pan Ams
Atlanta Open Gold Medalist
Arnolds Gold Medalist
NAGA Gold Medalist

Coaching Certifications:
AFAA personal training certification
Nautilus Training Certification
Super Slow Level 1, Level 2, Master Instructor
Cossfit Level 1 Certification
Crossfit Kettlebell certification
World Kettlebell Club Fitness Trainer certification
Crossfit Endurance Certification
Crossfit Kid’s Certification
Crossfit Powerlifting
Training for Warriors level 1 and 2

Bioforce Conditiioing Coach
Sealfit Basic Certification
Personal Defense Readiness Certified Coach
Parisi Coach certification
Circular Strength Training certification
Precision Nutrition Coach
Primal Health Coach

Other courses:
TacFit
FlowFit
Clubbelll Strength
Plan Strong
Functional Movement Screen
SealFit Academy
Kokoro Yoga
Boris Sheiko Seminar
Crossfit Mobility

When hearing the credentials, he said, “Yes.”, he would listen to the new guy.  I had to then inform him that the  “new guy” was me. I have often caught  myself doing the same thing. This is just another interesting example of human nature. As humans, we are certainly not always logical. If we are aware of this it can help empower us in making better decisions. If we are unaware of this or ignore it, we will sometimes be left with making decisions that, unfortunately, we will have to learn from the hard way.