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Insights

The Foundation of Performance

Are you interested in maximising your potential to perform?

If the answer is yes, do you realise how important sleep is?

Sleep is the foundation of performance. However, up to 94% of the population are not getting enough of one of nature’s greatest gifts. Poor sleep quantity and quality has been associated with numerous adverse effects including:

  • Increased risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Obesity
  • Decreased concentration, problem-solving and alertness

If that is not enough, research has shown that reducing sleep to 5 hours a night nearly DOUBLED the risk of death from all causes.


Are you getting enough sleep?

In many workplaces it is often seen as a “badge of honour” if you survive on only a few hours a night. The facts are very clear that you may be surviving but you are definitely not performing to your maximum and you are putting your long-term health at risk.

However, it is possible to make a difference by implementing a basic sleep strategy.

Our ever increasing “connected” society has a substantial impact on our sleep. Without getting too deep into science what we need to sleep is the lowering of the hormone cortisol and the production of the hormone melatonin but if we are watching television, interacting on social media or answering emails late at night we are sending the wrong signals to our endocrine system.


So, what can we do?

The first step is to focus on getting 7-9 hours sleep every night and this is best achieved by having a consistent sleep schedule (Bed time/Wake time) and this includes weekends.  The more consistent you are the better, so, determine what time you need to awake and work backwards 7-9 hours.

The hour prior to sleep is vital as we need to be relaxed to start the sleeping process. Start to relax in that hour before sleep by decreasing or avoiding technology and replace that with reading a book or even taking a warm shower. Furthermore, writing in a journal is a great way to reduce anxiety by getting disruptive thoughts out of your mind.

Where you sleep is also important as your sleep is influenced by temperature (18-20 degrees C), light (room needs to be dark), mattress/ pillow (individualised for you) and keep technology (mobile phone etc) outside the bedroom.  The bedroom should also be clean and uncluttered and priortised for sleep.

Sleep is a complex part of life that can be enhanced with a simple strategy and if you can improve this part of your life the benefits are extensive.  Imagine waking up every day fresh and focused so you can perform to your maximum in every area of your life.


If sleep is a problem for you, now is the time to commit to making a positive change.

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About Craig Duncan

Craig Duncan is the Founder and CEO of the Performance Intelligence Agency (PIA). He is a leading Performance Scientist with a passion for maximising the potential of organisations, teams and individuals. His innovative and holistic approach to performance management has enabled higher performance teams such as the NSW State of Origin team (2014 & 2018 wins), the Western Sydney Wanderers FC (Asian Champions League 2014), and the Socceroos (Asian Cup win 2015, World Cup qualification 2018).

Craig is a strong advocate of performance maximisation through self-awareness, preparation and setting goals (physical, mental/emotional and financial). Craig is also a Senior Lecturer of Exertcise and Sport Science at the Australian Catholic University, and holds a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD), Sport Science from the University of Sydney.

To find out more, visit Craig Duncan or PIA.

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