The Seriousness of Securing Sufficient Amounts of Sleep
Not obtaining adequate amounts of sleep will definitely throw a monkey wrench into achieving your athletic goals. According to triathlete and coach, Nate Llerandi, “Sleep deprivation can put you in one of the worst holes you'll ever experience. It goes hand in hand with overtraining, erratic training, and poor performances. It is the ultimate performance killer.”
That’s bad enough, but not getting enough sleep is far more serious than that, with new research  showing that people who sleep less than six hours a night may be at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Compared with those who sleep between seven and eight hours nightly, this study—published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology—people who sleep 6-or-less hours have an increased risk of atherosclerosis -- plaque buildup in the arteries throughout the body.
This new study involved nearly 4,000 people—two-thirds men, one-third women—average age of 46 years old, and free from heart disease. The study participants were divided into four groups:
- Those who slept less than 6 hours
- Those who slept 6-7 hours
- Those who slept 7-8 hours
- Those who slept more than 8 hours
For a one-week period, all participants wore an actigraph (a small device that continuously measures activity or movement), to measure their sleep. All participants underwent 3D heart ultrasound and cardiac CT scans to look for heart disease.
Researchers found that when traditional risk factors for heart disease were considered-- glucose levels, blood pressure, inflammation and obesity—participants who slept less than 6 hours had a 27% greater risk of having atherosclerosis throughout the body compared with those who slept 7-8 hours. They also noted that the participants who had a poor quality of sleep— frequently waking up during the night, higher numbers of movements during sleep (which affects the sleep phases)—were 34% more likely to have atherosclerosis compared with the participants who had a good quality of sleep.
The findings also showed that sleeping more than 8 hours a night may also be associated with an increase in atherosclerosis, with Dr. Valentin Fuster emphasizing, "It is important to realize that shorter sleep duration that is of good quality can overcome the detrimental effects of the shorter length.”
Research leader, Dr. José M. Ordovás, concludes: “Cardiovascular disease is a major global problem, and we are preventing and treating it using several approaches, including pharmaceuticals, physical activity and diet. But this study emphasizes we have to include sleep as one of the weapons we use to fight heart disease -- a factor we are compromising every day. This is the first study to show that objectively measured sleep is independently associated with atherosclerosis throughout the body, not just in the heart."
What makes this new study so importantly different than previous research is that it is much larger participant-wise, and that its participants were in good health. Other studies focused on people who already had sleep apnea or other health issues. Additionally, while other studies replied on participant-provided questionnaires, this study used actigraphs to record more precise measurements of sleep. Lastly, this study also 3D ultrasound to measure atherosclerosis not just in the heart, but throughout the entire body.
Sleep specialists, Drs. Daniel J. Gottlieb, and Deepak L. Bhatt, stated that more studies such as this are necessary. In an editorial regarding this new study they wrote, "The potentially enormous impact of sleep deprivation and disruption on population health, reinforced by the present study, is ample justification for such trials, which are needed to place sleep with confidence alongside diet and exercise as a key pillar of a healthy lifestyle.”
Lack of sufficient-duration, high-quality sleep is clearly one of the chief ways that negatively impact our athletic performance and, more importantly our overall health. It is absolutely vital that each and every one of use do what we can to obtain 7-8 hours of high-quality sleep every night. Listed below are Hammer Nutrition’s premium-quality products that will help you achieve just that.
Hammer Nutrition’s “Superior Sleep Arsenal”
Hammer CBD – The broad-sectrum phytocannabinoid and terpene content in Hammer CBD interacts with the CB1 receptors in the brain, influencing the neurotransmitters, proteins, and other chemicals in the brain, which can positively affect many of the body’s functions, including sleep-wake cycles. A 2016 study on CBD use for sufferers of insomnia showed that CBD gradually helped improve sleep quality, duration, and reduced anxiety .
REM Caps – The main component in this all-natural sleep formula is melatonin, a hormone that is naturally produced and secreted by the pineal gland, and vitally needed for a number of bodily functions, especially sleep. A number of factors, especially aging, decrease the body’s production of this all-important hormone, which is why supplementation with melatonin-based REM Caps is highly beneficial.
Note that both Hammer CBD and REM Caps may be taken together, if desired. First, remember that Hammer CBD is a daily use supplement, while REM Caps can be used either on a daily basis or as an occasional-use supplement. These two products are compatible because they act on different bodily areas and functions.
Essential Mg – Of the myriad benefits that magnesium offers, helping the nerves and muscles to relax, and helping calm the nervous system—all of which greatly assist in obtaining quicker and more-complete sleep—is one of the very best.
 Fernando Domínguez, Valentín Fuster, Juan Miguel Fernández-Alvira, Leticia Fernández-Friera, Beatriz López-Melgar, Ruth Blanco-Rojo, Antonio Fernández-Ortiz, Pablo García-Pavía, Javier Sanz, José M. Mendiguren, Borja Ibañez, Héctor Bueno, Enrique Lara-Pezzi, José M. Ordovás. Association of Sleep Duration and Quality With Subclinical Atherosclerosis. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2019; 73 (2): 134 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.10.060