How well do you sleep as a fitness expert? Prof. Dr. Stephan Geisler gives us a very personal insight into his sleeping behavior, explains how sleep is related to fitness, sport and training and gives us great tips for a sleep-friendly daily exercise routine.
Table of Contents
- Our expert: fitness professor Prof. Dr. Stephan Geisler
- How well does the fitness professor sleep?
- Tips & interesting facts about children's sleep
1. Our expert: fitness professor Prof. Dr. Stephan Geisler
Our sleep depends on many different factors and even as an expert in the field you are not immune to a bad night. Prof. Dr. Stephan Geisler is a professor of fitness and health at the IST University in Düsseldorf and has been involved in research and further training in the field of muscle training for more than 20 years. In our Podcast he told us how he makes his everyday life and training sleep-friendly and why he is still often deprived of sleep. We give you an overview of the most interesting answers here.
2. How well does our fitness expert sleep?
[An interview with Prof. Dr. Stephan Geisler]
Would you generally say that you sleep well?
Well my wife would definitely say that. I have to say that my sleeping habits have definitely changed in the last few years since I became a father. But I slept really well for 40 years. Of course, things have been a little different since then, because there's often something going on at night. Anyone who has children will know this. Then a lot changes.
So you slept well before?
Right, I'm actually a pretty good sleeper. Of course, I know what many people know: that if you think a lot in the evening, you might not be able to fall asleep so quickly. But then there are also simple techniques that can do this. You also know in which position you fall asleep easily and in my case that it has to be as dark as possible.
When I was a student, I even watched TV until I fell asleep. Today I don't allow myself to do that anymore because I'm aware that it's not good or healthy. But in retrospect I would do it differently.
Are you more of a late riser or a short riser? Approximately how many hours a night do you sleep?
In fact, I would describe myself as a short sleeper. I have crystallized for myself: If I sleep for seven hours, all is right with the world. And that's all fine and after a coffee and maybe a little bit of morning exercise I'm ready for action.
Do you have a specific sleep routine or specific sleeping times?
Everything has gotten out of hand because of the children, because now, for example, you don't put the children to bed until late because they are just so excited. Then I lie down again, fall asleep and wake up half an hour to an hour later. Then, of course, you are wide awake again and may not be able to fall asleep until 1 a.m. Otherwise, I was someone who didn't go to bed too early, but rather around 00:00. When the alarm went off at 7:00, I was actually very fit.
Do you have specific evening routines?
This changes almost from decade to decade. I actually used to train in the evening and train for a relatively long time - sometimes I wasn't home from training until 10 p.m. Later, when I was studying, I often went out in the evenings with my fellow students or something, and then I traveled a lot for work and slept in hotels an incredible amount. Now that I have the children, I actually prefer to sit on the balcony with my wife or watch Netflix. Who knows what my routine will look like in the next decade.
Does sport have an impact on your sleeping habits?
Yes, on everything. I also like to hear that back from my wife when I'm irritable. Then she says again “Will you please go train?” If I don't have any physical balance, then the stress level increases and that's not good for everyone. And not for sleep either. That's why I continue to train and try to develop a training routine to create more balance again.
Stephan has already explained how strength training can even improve sleep in this article.
Do you have specific training times?
They can be different. During my home office hours, I occasionally have the luxury of being reachable by phone but still in the training area. But in my job as a fitness professor, I don't think it's that bad.
Do you have a favorite sport?
I have been strength training for 33 years now. Of course, at some point you won't always be looking forward to it anymore. But I still like doing strength training, muscle training. For example, when I stand on the beach volleyball field with friends in the summer, I think more endorphins are released in me.
Sport is not just your hobby, but also your job. How did you come to turn your passion for sport into a career?
In fact, we had career advice back in high school and someone came who said: “If I can give you a tip, don't look for what you can do to earn the most money, but look for what you are simply happy with and feel like it every day."That impressed me back then and certainly contributed to me doing what I wanted to do. And I'm still very grateful that I did that because I almost never feel like I have to work in the morning.
Is there something from your sporting or professional life that has had a lasting impact on you and you would like to share?
You only realize how important sleep is when you become a father or mother. Beforehand, you take it for granted and maybe that's why you don't think about it that much. It just always takes something like this to be shaken up so that you start thinking about your sleep and become consciously aware of it. This can also be a sleep disorder that affects many people. I'm very grateful that I'm not part of that. So I think you just have to see a lot of things more consciously. Walking through the world a little more consciously, a little more mindfully - that's what I would generally recommend.
3. Tips and interesting facts about sport, sleep and health
You can find out more about Prof. in our special podcast series about fitness, sleep and health. Dr. Learn about Stephan Geisler and find out his most important tips and interesting facts about the interaction between sport, health, sleep and well-being. Click here for the podcast ➨
Greetings and see you soon!