Over the past year I’ve been involved in peak performance training through Tim Royer, PhD, a neuropsychologist in Grand Rapids. Dr. Royer’s company coaches high performance athletes, sports teams and entrepreneurs across the country. For instance, they have full-time staff at the 49ers football complex, as well as at the Orlando Magic, just to mention a couple. One of the first aspects of our training was a sleep assessment. It was shocking. I was getting very little deep REM sleep.
As part of my training they recommended I read Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson. I was blown away at the many critical functions our sleep controls. For instance, sleep can make or break our ability to lose weight, age slowly, prevent cancer and perform at a high level. It regulates most of our hormone production, including at least 15% of our DNA controlling our body repair mechanisms. But it controls much more. He describes studies which show that sleep deprivation encourages cancer, Alzheimer’s, depression and heart disease.
It is shocking to realize that despite how sleep is intricately tied into our health and performance we know so little about its powerful effects and we ignorantly believe we can power through extended periods of decreased sleep without repercussion. I believe this book as the power to change lives.
I have embarked on a challenge to apply his sleep makeover principles. I’ve already increased my average night’s sleep by over an hour. I gave a copy of the book to everyone in my office. I hope you find it helpful.