The average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night to optimize cognitive function. Less than 7 hours or disrupted sleep can result in a number of negative outcomes. Cognitive function aside, poor sleep or lack of sleep affects mood, metabolism, and even motor function. Playing your best golf requires a good attitude (mood), plenty of energy (metabolism), good decision making (cognitive function), and swing execution (motor function). Imagine trying to play well when the 4 biggest factors in your ability to perform are being adversely affected by one root cause!
At SMART Golf & Fitness we teach our clients how to practice more effectively and work with them on their physical, mental and emotional growth. Poor sleeping habits can make it harder to achieve these goals both on and off the course. We live busy lives with many obstacles and distractions that impair us from achieving quality sleep each night. In your day to day, how many obstacles are self-imposed and where is there room for negative habits to be broken?
Alcohol is a nervous system depressant and can make us feel drowsy after consumption. However, despite being tired after a few drinks, it has a negative impact on our quality of sleep.
Just two drinks for men and one drink for women has been correlated to a 24% reduction in sleep quality. While three or more drinks for men and two or more drinks for women show a greater than 39% reduction in sleep quality. Alcohol largely impacts our ability to rest, regenerate and repair our brains and bodies during sleep.
The human body is largely able to recover from the occasional drink. However, when compounded over multiple days our metabolism struggles to cope. As our metabolism works overtime to process the alcohol, we begin to experience sleep disruptions. In some cases, this can lead to insomnia. So next time you have a big event or important round remember the impact a few drinks can have on your readiness for the day!
It’s no secret that we live in a world dominated by screens. They’re in our living rooms, offices, places of business, and most importantly, in our pockets. We’re all guilty of getting ready for bed then immediately pulling our phones. While it seems like a small action, the light from your screen can harm sleep quality and push sleep start times later into the night. Our phones emit blue light which restrains melatonin production, the hormone which signals sleepiness. As the production of melatonin is delayed, our natural sleep cycle is pushed back and may result in the inability to wake up, feelings of irritability, or grogginess.
The second major impact of screen time on sleep is emotion. Reading or watching something that changes your emotions can dramatically change the state of your mind and body. Whether it is upsetting, engaging, jarring, or stressful, these emotions release a wave of hormones into our bodies that are now in competition with melatonin. The National Sleep Foundation even recommends ceasing screen time 30 minutes prior to turning the lights out. Next time you are heading to bed, perhaps dust off that book you’ve been meaning to read and see how your mood changes as you fall asleep.
There are many factors that can change the duration and quality of sleep cycles. However, if you want to play your best golf, it may be helpful to change habits in your control for the better. If you are interested in how you can change the way you function, play, and perform, contact us at SMART Golf & Fitness.
Nico van der Ven graduated from Washington State University in 2015 with a B.S. in Sport Science & Kinesiology and a minor in Strength & Conditioning. While at WSU, Nico spent 1,600+ hours training the golf, tennis, track, soccer, basketball, baseball, and volleyball teams. He then interned at the University of Washington training baseball, basketball, and volleyball.
With a passion for learning in and out of the gym, continuing education is always a priority. Nico obtained his Titleist Performance Institute Level 1 certification and is a PGA Class A certified Golf Professional.
Click here to learn more about Nico.
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