sleep icon bed with zzzz's

TN50#21, Sleep Pressure, Get Some! 24 May 2021

Hi Team,

Happy Monday and welcome to The Next 50 #21.

First Principles Performance, LLC has the mission of helping high achievers perform better.  I use the following 3 performance buckets to help clients improve their lives: Eat, Sleep, Move.  I love teaching my clients how they can maximize results by understanding the basics of how their Eat can best support their Sleep and Move and on and on and on.  With that in mind here is a little ditty on how your Move can enhance your Sleep and we’ll cover this at the cellular level – of course.


Adenosine is a naturally occurring chemical in the body that accumulates as we are awake all day.  This chemical is responsible, for what Dr. Matthew Walker calls, sleep pressure.  As the adenosine receptors on our cells build up adenosine the urge to sleep increases.

As a side note, caffeine also attaches to adenosine receptors, the caffeine temporarily blocks the receptors from attaching adenosine and this blockage is responsible for the little energy boost we get from our lovely mid-day coffee.  I’ve heard it said that coffee is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy and productive (my add).

Ok back to the main story.  Guess what adenosine is a by-product of?  That’s right adenosine triphosphate (ATP).  OK, for those of you who don’t remember the Kreb’s Cycle, Bill Bryson calls ATP, “the little molecule of intense energy that powers our cells” in his book, The Body – A Guide For Occupants. 

In other words, we Move and our mitochondria burn ATP to make it happen and one of the things that is left over, adenosine, increases sleep pressure and helps us sleep.  Boom!

Want to read a bit more on it? This article finds an even stronger link for adenosine development in rats that do CROSSFIT and if you read the whole abstract (which will take about 2 minutes) you get a little bonus info on how great Sleep sets us up for a great Move the next day!

Have a good one, Alex