Sleep Debt + Performance
It has come to my attention that my physical performance has decreased in the past 6 months. Shocking coming from a trainer, but it is true. And it had nothing to do with the amount of time spent in the gym, my willpower and determination or my exercise selection. I really had no idea why this was happening so I did some biohacking and research. The one factor that kept coming up was a consistent decline in sleep. Quality and quantity.
Sleep debt is a cumulative issue. In the words of research, sleep debt “has a neurobiological cost which accumulates over time.” After one week, 25 percent of the six-hour group was falling asleep at random times throughout the day. After two weeks, the six-hour group had performance deficits that were the same as if they had stayed up for two days straight. Let me repeat that: if you get 6 hours of sleep per night for two weeks straight, your mental and physical performance declines to the same level as if you had stayed awake for 48 hours straight. 
Why? Well in the past 6 months (since September) the following has changed:
1. I moved into a new apartment with an extremely loud alley.
2. I was working until 8pm most nights.
3. My room had a more open floor plan which led to a subconscious anxious state that made it difficult to fall asleep.
4. I have been way more social which means more outings at night.
With all of these factors involved, I was averaging about 6 hours of sleep a night, not recovering from my workouts, becoming cranky during the day, stressed out and started to gain weight.
It really wasn't until I felt like I hit a breaking point that I realized how little sleep I was actually getting. Especially for the amount of physical and mental energy I was using throughout the day.
I thought I needed to quit my job, move to Costa Rica, tell job I’m out and lay on the beach for 24 hours. But in reality, I just needed more sleep. Do you ever notice how everything is exacerbated when you're tired?
So I decided to evaluate which factors I could change. When one of the things I value the most in my life suffers, I am definitely willing to do everything I can to make a change.
Let's reflect (honestly) on you. If you are trying to lose weight, gain strength, increase cognitive performance, do better at work or relieve stress, and are having a very hard time getting there, maybe it's as simple as the amount of shut eye you are getting.
Read this article for some great information. http://jamesclear.com/better-sleep