The Importance of Sleep and Food

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February 15, 2017 in Featured Post / Peak Performance
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What are the most important things in your life? Is it family, money, your health?

No.

It’s sleep and food. At least when it comes to your own we’ll-being.

Over the past 3 months I have been paying very close attention to my sleep patterns and food intake. I’m not obsessive, just aware.

I’ve researched both extensively dusing my previous career as a sports performance specialist, and people relied on me to advise them in these areas along with physical training.

But there is one thing I have learned now that I’m out of that profession: everyone is different.

Sleep

Gary Vaynerchuk, Donald Trump and Tony Robbins might be able to get away with 4-5 hours of sleep per night, but do not try to mimic their schedules. I used to try, and would get almost immediately get sick with a cold, most likely due to a lowered immune system.

As a driven individual, you might read the studies that say 7-8 hours, and largely ignore them in order to maintain the “hustle”. I myself have found that 8-9 hours is my sweet spot, and 11pm-7am seems to be my natural sleep/wake range.

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After years of having trouble falling asleep, I have finally found a package that works:

  • Go to sleep when you are tired
  • Make it the same time every night
  • Wake up when you wake up (when possible)
  • Digest your food before bed
  • Make it dark as hell

Not all of these are possible all of the time, but if you can maintain this 90% of the time, you should be good.

Food

Sleep is an often overlooked preventative measure for health and performance, but everyone knows they should go on a diet. Everyone knows they should eat a little healthier. The problem is food is so damn delicious.

I was lucky enough to be raised by a health-conscious mom, in a healthy eating environment. This was probably the biggest inspiration for me to eat healthy into my adulthood.

Due to my training in fitness and human performance, and current focus on Crossfit, I am probably a little further to the healthy spectrum than most. But there are just a few principles that guide my eating habits 90% of the time, and they can work for most of you to feel better and look better (barring food allergies or medical needs):

  1. Eat vegetables every meal
  2. Don’t eat sugar, you don’t need it
  3. Focus on protein and healthy fats
  4. Drink water all day long

These principles probably won’t make you an Olympic athlete or billionaire by themselves, but they will keep you rested, healthy and primed for production. At least they do for me.

What are your sleep and eating habits? Do you have a routine that is absolutely essential to your daily performance? Leave your tips below.

 

 

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John Timmerman
About the author

John Timmerman

John Timmerman is the founder of Good Monster, a digital agency in Syracuse, NY. He is a former strength & conditioning coach and personal trainer who has trained NFL, MLB, NHL, PGA, UFC athletes, executives and everyone else for 10 years. When he's not burning the house down trying to cook up healthy ways to eat bacon, he's traveling and enjoying life to the fullest!