What Everyone Ought to Know about Performance Enhancing Drugs

Need to work harder, stronger, longer?

Want performance enhancement?

Need to study more, write better?

Want performance enhancement that is FREE?

This is better than protein shakes and 5-Hour ENERGY.

Better than nutritional supplements.

Way better than steroids.

ESPN calls it the new “magic pill.”

What is it?   … wait for it …

Sleep.

Yes, researchers and doctors agree …
we just need to zzzzzzz z z z z…….

The truth is that we do not need the performance enhancement drugs.

Athletes’ performance improved with increased sleep. Performance consultants and technology firms agree with research by Stanford researcher Cheri Mah. Check out her article!

And…the LA Times recently printed an article on the importance of sleep. A study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found that lack of sleep seriously affects our metabolism.

Created to Sleep

Our bodies need restorative hours. We are created with the need for Sabbath, including a daily time of rest.

“During sleep, muscles and soft tissues repair and revitalize themselves. Our minds process memories and things we have learned. Sleep also aids in cardiovascular health, metabolism and weight management,” according to researchers at Medical Specialists Department of Sleep and Pulmonary Medicine in Indiana.

FYI:  6 1/2 hours at night + ½ hour power nap at lunch + one hour couch-time after work does not = 8 quality hours of sleep.

Sleep demonstrates our reliance on the God. Josh Etter writes “Sleep is a parable that God is God and we are mere men.”

“It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know He enjoys giving rest to those He loves?” (Psalm 127:2 The Message)

Symptoms of Lack of Sleep

According to research by psychologist and sleep expert Dr. David F. Dinges at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the first signs of lack of sleep are:

  • irritability
  • moodiness
  • disinhibition

Dinges writes, “If a sleep-deprived person doesn’t sleep after the initial signs, the person may then start to …

  • experience apathy
  • slowed speech
  • flattened emotional responses
  • impaired memory
  • an inability to be novel or multitask

As a person gets to the point of falling asleep, he or she will fall into micro sleeps (5-10 seconds) that cause lapses in attention, nod off while doing an activity like driving or reading and then finally experience hypnagogic hallucinations, the beginning of REM sleep.” (Dinges, Sleep, Sleepiness and Performance, 1991)

Sound dangerously familiar??

Combat Sleep Problems

No matter what your age is, sleep is necessary. It means turning off your body’s clock at night.

According to sleep researchers, ways to overcome common sleep problems include:

  • Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule
  • Don’t drink or eat caffeine four to six hours before bed and minimize daytime use
  • Don’t smoke, especially near bedtime or if you awake in the night
  • Avoid alcohol and heavy meals before sleep
  • Get regular exercise
  • Find ways to lower stress
  • Minimize noise, light and excessive hot and cold temperatures where you sleep
  • Develop a regular bed time and go to bed at the same time each night
  • Try and wake up without an alarm clock
  • Attempt to go to bed earlier every night for certain period; this will ensure that you’re getting enough sleep
  • Don’t work right up to bedtime then expect your body to shut down for a night’s rest

Quality sleep is essential to our health.

It’s simply transformational.

Your Turn

How many hours of sleep do you get regularly?

Will you try a sleep experiment? Get 8-hours of sleep for five nights in a row. Share your before/after reflections with us in the comments below!

(If you are a parent of an infant or young child, this will be a dream for now. In the meantime, truly enjoy your little ones and get as much sleep as you can … our children get so big so fast!)

Posted by Sharon R. Hoover

First Photo credit: A. Blight via photo pin cc

Second Photo credit: Casey David via photo pin cc

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About Sharon R Hoover

Serving the church for over twenty years in discipleship and mission ministries, I've walked alongside many people travelling and exploring the journey of faith. Add in my own crazy path and I hope my writing will offer glimpses of life worth sharing.
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4 Responses to What Everyone Ought to Know about Performance Enhancing Drugs

  1. Sharon Srock says:

    I try to hit the sheets at 10PM, my alarm goes off at 430AM. 6-7 hours on a good, go right to sleep night. Haven’t fighured out how to do any better.

    • Hi Sharon! I hear you about the struggles of where to find the extra hours. Wow… 4:30 is a “pm” time for me! 🙂 And, I thought our 5:20 alarms was too early!!

  2. Eight hours? I want more. At least nine. I love sleep!

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