Tuesday 150609

For time:
Row 30 Calories
30 Deadlift 225#(135#)
30 Strict handstand push ups
30 Toes to bar
30 Back squats 135#(95#)

Post time to BTWB

The man, the myth, the legend; Dan Pope picking up rocks on the beach

The man, the myth, the legend; Dan Pope picking up rocks on the beach


Most of you know Dan Pope.  He’s a CrossFit Verve trainer and coaches classes on Tuesday evening.  If you haven’t met him be sure and introduce yourself.  What a few of you know and many more will know after reading this is that he’s a top notch physical therapist and has a website dedicated to all things fitness.  From mobility to progressions to ways to improve your gymnastic and Olympic lifting movements, Dan’s website; FitnessPainFree.com is a great resource.  

Dan has been creating content for the past 7 years so you can imagine that the stock pile of worthwhile reads is pretty damn endless.  There are also plenty of videos for those of us that are visual learners and require a demonstration.  

I’ve asked Dan to provide us with a few examples of his research and writing so that we can bring them to our members via the Verve Blog.  Here is one such article that I found particularly useful given my terrible sleep habits. Enjoy and please visit his website FitnessPainFree.com.  

10 Steps to Improving Sleep Hygiene by Dan Pope

1) The Bedroom Should be for 2 Things Only

And I think you can guess what those 2 things are… Get everything else out, that means phones, ipads, computers and televisions.

2) Keep Your Bedroom Dark and Cool

Invest in some nice and heavy black out blinds. Make the room a bit cooler at night with air conditioning. No lights or electronics should be showing at night. The amount of light your body is exposed to can effect cortisol and melatonin levels, 2 hormones vital for sleep and alertness. Bonus points if you can expose yourself to some early morning sun to get the cortisol levels going.

3) Set the Same Sleep Time Every Night

Adriaan explained that going to sleep closer to when the sun goes down and waking when the sun rises can also be beneficial for cortisone / melatonin cycles. He recommends getting to bed before 12 (Obviously the sun usually sets before then in most areas). A steady bed time and rise time will help regulate your sleep/wake cycle.

4) Slowly Calm Down Before Bed

The idea is to slow down a bit before it’s time to sleep. This means several hours before bed to stop using electronics. Dim the lights some or potential use candles. Do things that help you relax, potentially try meditation.

5) Sleep 7-9 hours per night

Getting enough sleep has a myriad of benefits including improving efficiency and productivity. The amount of sleep needed probably differs from person to person but I doubt some people operate best on just 4 hours. Sleep can be trained. Get in bed at the same time each night. Stay in bed until your chosen wake time regardless of whether or not you’re actually asleep. Eventually you’ll be sleeping the prescribed times.

6) Keep a Notebook by the Bed

Many people have difficulty sleeping because they can’t control their thoughts at night Write them down (to do list) and make an effort to complete them the next day.

7) Snorer Leaves the Room

Having a sleeper next to you who can’t stop snoring does not help sleeping at all. Adriaan’s recommendation was to have the snorer leave the room and sleep elsewhere.

8) Taper Water Before Bed

For obvious reasons. Peeing 7 times per night because you drank a gallon of water before bed time isn’t good.

9) Limit Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol can help relax your body and prepare your body for rest. However, too much alcohol can disrupt sleep as your body is processing the alcohol.

10) Take Naps of 20 Minute or Less (Stay in Phase 1)

Our sleep occurs in cycles. We slip into deeper sleep cycles as we sleep for longer durations. When we first fall asleep this stage is closest to our normal brain activities and as we sleep further the brain activity changes. This is why you may feel groggy after a several hour nap but feel ready to go after a shorter nap. Keep your naps between 10-20 minutes to minimize this effect. Also keep in mind that if you take long naps during the day you may disrupt your sleep cycle at night. Again, you may have to find what works best for you.

I was asleep when I wrote this entire article,

Dan Pope DPT, CSCS


  1. Matt :

    Thanks Dan, good stuff

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