Host: Dr. Scott Jablonka (Carolina Movement Doc)

Episode Summary

The focus of this episode is sleep. Dr. Scott Jablonka argues sleep is the best supplement for overall performance and health. He highlights the importance of sleep on recovery, the negative effects of poor sleep, practical methods to improve sleeping habits, as well as the benefits of adequate sleep.

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  1. Introduction to Functional Fitness
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Sleep is the best supplement for overall performance and health.

Top Takeaway

  • “There are really 3 pillars of health; there’s diet, there’s exercise and then there’s sleep”
    – [Dr. Scott Jablonka]
  • “When you don’t get good diet, exercise or sleep, your recovery in the red”
    – [Dr. Scott Jablonka]
  • “Stress plays a huge role on how we sleep”
    – [Dr. Scott Jablonka]
  • “We don’t need to be 100% strict but we definitely to be consistent”
    – [Dr. Scott Jablonka]

Episode Highlights

  • [00:37] Intro
  • [01:04] Sleep is the best supplement for overall performance and health.
  • [08:57] The role of stress in sleep.
  • [16:20] Effects of sleep deprivation.
  • [20:32] 10 ways to improve sleep.

Episode Notes

The role of sleep is the best supplement for your overall performance and health.

There are 3 pillars of health:

  1. Sleep
  2. Diet
  3. Exercise

A decline in any of these will lead to a decline in the others. Optimizing all 3 pillars is the most crucial step in optimizing your health. It is better than popularly marketed quick fixes. Though it is certainly not easy and will take work and discipline. Of the 3, sleep is the most neglected pillar.

Tracking your sleep

Woman tracking her sleep with a watch

The majority of people who do not sleep well are aware of it. This is often due to poor habits related to one of the 3 pillars and can be tracked using any of the available wearable technology.

Wearable technology like a WHOOP Strap provides much information. It monitors your sleep and correlates it with your recovery. Wearers also feel good when the strap shows green in recovery, although this could be a placebo effect. This may also be an affirmation that they are recovering well.

It is important for users not to get obsessed with technology and numbers because not getting the signal they are in recovery may cause them to despair and create stress.

Stress on your sleep

Man wide awake in bed

Stress plays a huge role in how we sleep. Until you address the stressors in your life, it will be difficult to have good stress hygiene.

Getting rid of negative stressors often improves sleep pretty quickly. Which, in turn, improves physical performance. From Dr. Jablonka’s personal experience, working out when exhausted makes the activity feel like a chore.

Effects of poor sleeping habits

Woman using her phone in bed

Sleep deprivation is almost as dangerous as drunk driving because it affects brain function. This also applies to physical performance and recovery. Even medical schools are starting to reduce the number of hours residents work consecutively.

Research shows that elite athletes who have rigorous workout schedules often suffer many effects of poor sleep including reductions in running performance, submaximal strength, muscle glycogen concentration, soccer skills, isokinetic peak torque, tennis-serve accuracy, and time to exhaustion.

This kind of negative impact can start to manifest with as little as 2-4 sleep hours lost. In addition, cognitive function is significantly decreased, as well as judgment, reaction time, and decision making, hence the impact can be felt by a whole team. Improved sleep resulted in decreased fatigue and sleepiness.

Improve your sleep

Man sleeping soundly in bed

The question is how well do we sleep? Having a consistent sleep pattern translates to fewer adverse effects and more positive effects on performance.

With several ways to improve your sleep, it is advisable to pick out one that applies to you and implement it.

  • Do not go to bed until you’re sleepy. Fill your time with something else, but not screen time, until you go to bed. It helps to have a regular bedtime routine, especially as you wind down.
  • Wake up at the same time every morning. If you do this, you increase the chance that the body will get used to going to bed at the same time.
  • Avoid having daytime naps as a way to make up a good full night’s sleep. It does not work and can cause you issues going to bed at night
  • Avoid any other activities on the bed, apart from sleep and intimacy.
  • Caffeine after lunch, alcohol, smoking, and nicotine should also be strictly avoided
  • Sleeping after excessive alcohol is rather detrimental. It should be noted that high-intensity exercise before bed can increase cortisol levels which is not good for sleep.
  • Ensure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool.

After working on any one of these changes successfully, pick another and repeat the process.

Reach out to Dr. Jablonka on Instagram to be featured on the podcast. Patients can also reach out to him through his website.


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