Why do Business Athletes love to sleep?

7 min readNov 4, 2021

Throughout this blog series, you will explore how your sleep, exercise, mindfulness and other Performance Protocols relate to your physical, cognitive, and mental performance. This initial post will focus you on how the role of sleep and the associated routines you adopt can affect your performance at work. If you have already optimised your sleep — great. Share your best approaches in the comments below!

TLDR: Business Athletes love to sleep. You should love it too because when your sleep routine is optimised, and you sleep well and consistently, it helps all your body cells and brain to stay in better shape. Resulting in an increased ability to be focused, creative, and remain full of energy for longer periods. So that you are more productive at work, and the quality of your decisions and results is much better.

Understanding Sleep

Sleep is an essential function: it allows your body and mind to recharge while progressing through the different stages of sleep, illustrated below.

Image source: pinterest.co.uk/pin/352899320797991103/

Stages 1 and 2 represent the transition from being awake to entering Light Sleep. Following stage 2, your body enters deep sleep during stages 3 and 4, where a variety of functions take place that drive your physical and cognitive recovery. For example:

o Human Growth Hormone is released to aid muscle and tissue repair

o Metabolism slows, allowing your body to recover energy

o Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels increase to replenish energy in your cells

o Brain detoxifies

From Stage 4, you then transition to Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, a period in which you are most likely to dream. Primarily, REM sleep is where your brain processes information and consolidates memories. This cycle is repeated continuously until you wake. Typically, the first half of your sleep is dominated by deep sleep. The longer you sleep, the more time you spend in a REM sleep stage and the less time you spend in deep sleep, as shown below.

Image source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5449130/

The sequential structure of sleep means that if sleep is interrupted, your body is forced to repeat the initial REM sleep journey. Practising poor sleep hygiene hinders our ability to recover both physically and mentally fully. By not sleeping enough or experiencing repeated interruptions, you limit your deep and REM sleep cycles, negating any benefits. Challenges with sleeping affect 62% of adults globally, with many people struggling to adopt the necessary sleeping practices and routines to ensure they sleep well.

Prdikt helps you to track and recalibrate your sleep patterns to ensure maximum health and productivity. These three key indicators of sleep offer holistic insight into your sleep performance and are a great place to start:

  • Sleep Duration
  • Sleep Debt
  • Sleep Consistency

Sleep Duration

Sleep Duration, by definition, represents the amount of time you spend asleep every night and directly influences the time your body can spend in Deep and REM Sleep.

By sleeping less you are preventing your body from recovering physically and mentally

A level of difficulty remains when applying one-size-fits-all advice to individuals as many factors can influence sleep requirements. While 6 hours and 10 hours of sleep are considered appropriate, the National Sleep Foundation recommends getting between 7–9 hours of sleep for adults, as illustrated below.

Image source: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29073412/

Sleeping for less than 7 hours reduces the number of deep and REM sleep phases your body experiences, which detrimentally impacts your ability to learn, your mood, and your memory. Conversely, allocating enough time to sleep and revitalise your brain and body is associated with improvements in maintaining a good mood, neurobehavioral performance, cognitive function, and muscle tissue repair. Your body adapting to regularly under-sleeping is a commonly held belief, yet peer validated research suggests that in reality, you are just becoming accustomed to functioning on a reduced amount of sleep. Gradually as this sleep deficit accumulates, you risk forgetting how it feels to perform at your peak.

Sleep Debt

Sleep debt is intrinsically related to sleep duration, as sleep debt represents the difference between the amount of sleep you need and the amount you are getting.

Over time, regularly accumulating sleep debt will make you forget what performing at your peak feels like

Image source: sleepopolis.com/education/sleep-debt/

By not meeting your sleep needs, you begin to accumulate sleep debt which manifests in the form of sleep pressure. Sleep pressure takes the form of adenosine- an organic compound produced by your body, which reduces arousal and induces drowsiness. Everyday sleep pressure builds up as part of the Sleep Homeostasis mechanism, reaching its peak when you reach your usual bedtime, resulting in you falling asleep. During sleep, the brain purges adenosine, eliminating the sleep pressure built-up throughout the day. However, in the absence of sufficient sleep, a portion of the adenosine remains and carries over to the next day, compounding the impact of sleep deprivation. In the short term, sleep deprivation significantly impairs your memory, attention, cognitive processing speed, immune system, metabolism, and mood.

The worst part is that this decline in performance capability is likely imperceptible as your brain acclimatises to continue functioning with a reduced capacity. Over time, your deteriorated performance levels will begin to feel like the norm. The chronic accumulation of sleep debt can have serious adverse health consequences, including an increased risk of heart diseases, cancer, psychiatric disorders, obesity, amongst others. The seriousness and prevalence of sleep deprivation resulted in its designation as a global public health epidemic.

Sleep Consistency

Adopting a consistent sleep schedule is just as important as getting enough sleep for your performance at work. Sleeping consistency represents the similarity between sleep and wake times and influences your sleep-wake cycle — one of the most important circadian rhythms.

As a consistent sleeper you will improve your; mood, psychomotor performance, and energy levels

Circadian Rhythms are 24-hour cycles that are part of your body’s internal clock. Every cell in your body, and your brain, modulate changes across these 24-hour cycles while following a predictable rhythm. The optimisation of bodily processes throughout the day is coordinated by virtue of genes, different proteins and other things in your body. It’s no coincidence — when you think of other phenomena that follow predictable 24-hour rhythms, like the Earth spinning on its axis. An example of a properly aligned circadian rhythm is pictured below (but it’s not so easy!).

Image source: news-medical.net/health/Circadian-Rhythm.aspx

More specifically, your sleep-wake cycle shapes the windows during the day when you feel most alert and productive. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule helps to align your internal biological clock with your sleep-wake cycle. Resulting in a stable cycle of restorative rest that promotes increased daily activity. As a consistent sleeper, you will record longer periods spent in REM and Deep Sleep phases, resulting in improvements in mood, psychomotor performance, and energy levels. Conversely, an inconsistent sleep schedule affects sleep quality and efficiency by compromising your ability to sleep continuously through the night. For example, inconsistent sleepers are more likely to experience interruptions and awakenings during their sleep, which limits their exposure to deep and REM sleep. Ultimately leading to a decline in cognitive function and health.


Maintaining your sleep consistency and getting the right amount of sleep will help you maintain your cognitive and physical ability at its peak. Enabling you to remain focused, creative, and full of energy for longer periods. So that you are more productive at work, and the quality of your decisions and results is much better.

Conversely, depriving yourself of sleep and accumulating sleep debt means you risk forgetting the feeling of performing at peak capacity. Decreased performance and focus will become the norm.

Regardless of who you are, we encourage everyone to adopt appropriate sleep patterns. With Prdikt, you can find the best sleep Performance Protocol that fits your life patterns and helps you be the best version of yourself. Join us, Business Athlete.

What to do next

  1. Share your thoughts in the comments below.
  2. Visit our website and sign up for regular updates and information.
  3. Follow us on LinkedIn and Medium and stay tuned to the forthcoming blog posts concerning how Sleep, Exercise and Mindfulness affect your capacity to perform.
  4. Perform better.




Prdikt helps business professionals to maximise flow and productivity via improved scheduling. Sign up for the beta!