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  • Sleep and its Effects on the Body

    Posted by Max on June 26, 2022 at 10:02 pm

    Here’s an interesting fact. According to the Sleep Matters Club, “The average person spends about 26 years sleeping in their life, which equates to 9,490 days or 227,760 hours. Surprisingly, we also spend 7 years trying to get to sleep. That’s 33 years or 12,045 days [total] spent in bed!”

    That data was calculated and collected from the life expectancy of an 80-year-old who slept a consistent number of hours (7-8) each night.

    The point is, you can’t argue that humans don’t sleep a lot or that it isn’t vital for a healthy life. Sleep boosts mental health, improves physical wellbeing, promotes immunity from sickness, and helps our recovery. It’s essential. Here’s the thing, we rest more than we walk and run, so we have to make sure we rest well. Otherwise, our bodies will hurt when we move.

    If you aren’t an athlete or don’t desire to get every ounce of natural talent squeezed out of your body, then you might not have to maximize every little thing in sleep or rest. If this is you, you might only need to buy yourself the freedom to move through life well and do what you need. That means you must fix the areas of your body in sleep that are hurting you in your moving life. For example: if you have consistent front chain dominant behaviors when you’re awake, meaning your hips are sitting in front of your body and you sleep on your stomach, you will have to change that!

    You will get hurt if you are sleeping on your stomach because it compresses your lower back. Even if you spend most of your day working on back chain dominant exercises, if you sleep on your stomach for 8 hours every day, you are just canceling out all your hard work!

    On the flipside, if you are an athlete or desire to maximize every little variable in your life, you have to rest well 99% of the time, and ideally 100% of the time! If you are sitting in a front-chain dominant position for most of your career, you will get passed by from competitors unless you have elite talent. But even then, if you have the most elite talent of all time and spend most of your career away from the sport, relaxing in front-chain dominant positions is not maximizing your full potential!

    Pay attention to how you sleep because it not only affects your mental and physical states, but also your quality of life.

    If your wrists are collapsed when you sleep or you spend significant hours relaxing pressure into the inner edge of your wrists, that’s not good. While awake, you are more likely to collapse your wrists when lifting objects, swinging, throwing, doing pushups, punching, etc.

    Same for the feet, if your feet are collapsed throughout the night for extended amounts of time, it feeds the central nervous system the shapes that promote knee and ankle pain more than when you are awake. So, if you work on corrective exercises to get out of knee pain when you are awake, but when you sleep your body rests in poor shapes that you are trying to correct, you’re counteracting your excellent work during the day with the bad while you sleep.

    A lot of back pain when you are awake stems directly from sleep positions. Again, if you sleep on your stomach, this is detrimental. If you sleep with your feet out in a starfish position while lying face down, it’s even worse.

    What’s something you can do to help? Well for starters, put a pillow under your knees when you sleep. If you sleep on your back without a pillow under your knees, you are hyperextending your legs. Now when you move to take a step, instead of setting a bow, you tend to lock your legs out and hyperextend to absorb the pressure from the ground. Hyperextension can promote hamstring problems.

    If you sleep with two pillows under your neck or even have a big thick pillow, this could be pushing your neck forward and out of alignment. At G8way Max, we have found that one of the biggest threats and potential killers of a thrower’s talent is bad neck alignment. If the neck is stuck several inches forward towards the front of the body, it’s detrimental to throwers because they start using the majority of the chest, upper traps, and the front side of the body to throw the ball. A thrower with poor neck alignment is more susceptible to tearing their UCL. Also, when the neck is pushed forward, the thrower cannot access the back side of their upper body. Instead, they would need to fix how they sleep, trying to dial back the thickness of the pillow slowly.

    If you are an athlete, especially a throwing athlete, this begs the question of whether you should sleep with a pillow or not. When you sleep on your side, you always want to have a pillow under your ear unless you can relax your ears on your bicep for support. You would never want to take that resting shape, turn it vertical, and see imaginary water falling out of your ear; you would always want a level head. So, if one of your ears falls towards one of your shoulders because you don’t have a pillow, you might wake up with some cricks or neck tightness. However, you might not need a pillow when you sleep on your back depending on the sport you play and if you are genuinely trying to maximize everything.

    Your shoulders also could be at risk when you sleep. If all you do is sleep on one side with one of your shoulders rounded forward, you might have a tight or sticky shoulder when you wake up. You never want to put yourself in sleep debt because you can’t stop thinking about your resting posture. You want to progress slowly. Start in naps, then work your way up to sleep. Many successes over time will drastically improve your sleep and state of being.

    Comment any questions you have on sleep or share some of the sleeping positions that you sleep in!

    • This discussion was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by  Max Mover.
    • This discussion was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by  Max Mover.
    • This discussion was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by  Max Mover.
    Max replied 1 year, 9 months ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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