Lagoon | Sleep & Fitness News - May 16th, 2024

Lagoon | Sleep & Fitness News - May 16th, 2024

Hey packlings 👋

Do pro cyclists in the Giro d’Italia look at their sleep scores? Plus what scandal took MLB star Shohei Ohtani’s sleep off track… and how did he get back on?  There’s plenty of juicy news to unpack in this week’s edition of the Sleep & Fitness News, so let’s get into it.  

🚵 Pro Cyclists Choose to Ignore Sleep Data While Competing in the Giro

The grueling Giro d’Italia offers us a glimpse into the sophisticated physical and psychological strategies that pro cyclists use to push their performance.  From high-tech nutrition plans to old-school massages, it’s a blend of proven science and placebo effects that plays a pivotal role in helping cyclists rebound for multiple successive race days. Teams focus intensely on how to apply this balance - particularly to their riders’ sleep hygiene.  Despite the availability of gadgets that provide sleep scores and recovery metrics, teams are cautious about over-relying on data.  EF Education-EasyPost’s head of medicine, Dr. Kevin Sprouse, notes that while data can inform, it shouldn’t override how riders feel or dictate their recovery strategies. “There’s a real risk that numbers about recovery or HRV can ‘block,’ a rider or impact their performance in some way,” said Sprouce.  “They ride how they ‘think’ they are feeling because of what the data says.”  These insights highlight that while recovery data is great for managing our day-to-day lives, when it comes to elite performance, sometimes the mind is greater than the body.  

⚾️ Shohei Ohtani's Game Skyrockets as Sleep Schedule Stabilizes

Baseball phenom Shohei Ohtani has recently overcome the impact of a major off-field scandal to get his sleep back on track and continue smashing records on the field. The scandal involved Ohtani’s former interpreter, who reportedly stole $16 million from the MLB star.  But now Ohtani is putting it in the rearview mirror, sharing "initially I really didn't have much sleep obviously with the things that were happening but now I've been able to really have a pretty consistent routine, been able to sleep well, so I think those are leading to good results." Those results include a .426 batting average with five home runs over the last 12 games, and the Dodgers winning 17 of their last 21 games.  Ohtani’s experience underscores the profound impact that stable sleep can have, even for elite athletes at the top of their sport.

🥵 Kick Burnout to the Curb by Sleeping More

Burnout is on the rise - with modern working adults having more stressors than ever both in the office and in their personal lives, with a feeling of always “being on.”  But the good news is that burnout can be solved - by creating work/life boundaries, saying no to tasks you don’t have time for, and swapping out things you “have to do” with things you “want to do.”  One of the best recognized strategies for managing burnout is proper sleep.  Jessica Rendall of CNET recommends to “treat your sleep routine like a charger for your laptop.” Sleep can explicitly ward off burnout by helping us process memories, concentrate, and manage stress.  If you’re feeling toasted now, remember that burnout doesn’t have to be permanent - look at what strategies work best for you to get balance back in your life… including enough time for optimal sleep!

🌊 The Hidden Struggle with Sleep in Submarine Life

The extreme conditions of submarine life offer a unique perspective on how adjusted sleep cycles can have a material impact on cognitive function. Former submarine officer and current medical student Will Harris looked closely at how the atypical 18 hour day cycles (12 awake and 6 asleep) on a submarine could negatively impact cognition.  Studies have shown that despite an 18-hour operational cycle, the body actually still maintains a 24-hour circadian rhythm.  The research found that sleep performance and cognition suffered when the circadian rhythm was out of phase with the sleep-wake cycle. However, a similar study was conducted on submariners who were on a 24 hour schedule and found that their sleep quality did not suffer even after a 51 day deployment.  This suggests that it might make the most sense to try and have crew members maintain a 24 hour schedule whenever possible… and for you to do the same!

Whether it’s taking a page out of what professional athletes are doing, or learning from the newest, most-intriguing research - we’re on a journey to improve our routine sleep and fitness. Remember to follow @lagoonsleep on Instagram for your daily dose of sleep & fitness news and entertainment.

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