The sleep

Did you know that in France, 1 in 3 people have disturbed sleep?

And you, are you a good sleeper? Do you sleep around 8 hours a night?

Do you find it easy to fall asleep? Do you wake up several times a night?

When you wake up, are you the type to snooze the alarm or jump up suddenly, fresh as a roach?

Sleep is essential but is often poorly understood, or simply out of control. On average, we sleep 7.5 hours per night. Sleep can be more or less long depending on the person.

The important thing is that it is restorative. A sleepless night takes up to 5 days on average to recover.

Organizing a night's sleep

Generally 4 to 6 cycles of 90 minutes on average (7h30).

A cycle is divided into 5 stages, starting with a transition phase of a few minutes separating wakefulness and sleep:

● stage 1 and 2 (10 to 25'):

- superficial, light sleep: reduction in muscle tone and reduction in the perception of external stimuli

● stage 3 and 4 (20 to 40')

- deep, slow sleep: loss of awareness of the outside world, muscular hypotonia (major drop in tone), difficult waking up, the body goes to rest (physical recovery)

● stage 5 (10 to 25')

- paradoxical, rapid sleep: the brain is active, muscular hypotonia with sometimes muscle twitches, pulse and respiration faster than stage 4 and irregular, small rapid movements of the eyeballs, dream period, psychological recovery and psychological maturation

At the end of stage 5 we notice an awakening of a few seconds. This is the end of the first cycle where the slightest internal (pain) or external (noise) disturbance wakes you up.

Then a second cycle begins...

Waking up is marked by a period of inertia of 15 to 30' during which your performance and attentional resources are degraded.

During the night, sleep becomes less and less deep and the time of paradoxical sleep becomes longer and longer.

Going to bed late = poor physical recovery

Getting up too early = impaired cognitive abilities

Late diapers are more flexible than early diapers.

A sleep deficit leads to a sleep debt which will be repaid over several days.

Sleep cannot be capitalized!

Nap :

- Around 20', corresponds +/- to stages 1 and 2 of sleep (when you feel the need, or after a meal). 5 to 20' of inertia follows sleep

- Helps reduce nighttime sleep time or recover from a short night.

Sleep problems, what to do?

- try to go to bed at set times

- have a bedtime routine

- do not look at your phone/tablet 1 to 2 hours before bedtime

- avoid strong light (melatonin, a sleep hormone that avoids light) in the bedroom and avoid staying in bed too long (if you have difficulty sleeping, it is better to change rooms or at the end of the night). The brain must be accustomed to seeing the bed and the bedroom as the place to sleep

- ventilate your room during the day, but sleep in a temperate climate. No air conditioning at night or heating.

- do not train in the evening. Physical work does not induce sleep

- have a healthy diet

- relax before going to bed (with or without binaural sounds)

- to go further: consult a therapist

Conclusion :

Sleep is not only the best way to recover, but also to maintain good health. It also improves learning and everything related to cognition.

In addition, poor sleep will lead to weight gain through hormonal imbalance but also to the disruption of cortisol or growth hormone, which will be detrimental to physical efforts (mass gain, for example).

Certainly, you will need to check how your athletes are sleeping, and address this problem as a priority in your follow-ups.

This course is inspired by the numerous studies and research carried out on this subject and collated over the years, notably through INSERM and Victor Sebastiao, mental trainer of the French savate French boxing teams.


AS Urrila et al. Sci Rep, 2017: - sleep in adolescents = - gray matter

FP Cappuccio et al. Diabetes Care, 2010: - 6h = increased risk of type 2 diabetes

AA Prather et al. Sleep, 2015: lack of sleep increases the risk of catching a cold by x 4%

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