Critical Reading, Critical Thinking


post by Bryan Chung from

“But today, I was listening to the interview with Carl Valle, whose justification for “Get enough sleep,” was that we should get at least 8 hours of sleep a day because if you look at the best growth potential, the answer lies in babies–because they sleep the most and consume the most calories per unit of body mass. Babies are just anabolic machines! It’s the one period in your life when you experience EXPONENTIAL growth! Albeit this is just one very small segment of the interview and I believe that Carl Valle read it in a book about sleep; but it’s a classic example of “good recommendation, bad justification”. It’s also a good example of correlation fallacy (i.e. assigning causality to correlated things; in this case, babies grow exponentially, and sleep lots, therefore sleeping lots must cause increased growth). There are lots of good reasons to get enough sleep–alertness, mental health, concentration, even regeneration; all great reasons to get 8 hours of sleep. “Get 8 hours of sleep because you are mimicking a behaviour exhibited by babies, who happen to also have the highest growth potential in a human’s lifespan,” should not even be ON the list of reasons why you should get 8 hours of sleep. Rule number 1 in Pediatrics: Children and babies are not just little adults. Conversely, adults are not just big babies. The fact that babies experience exponential growth is NOT because they sleep all of the time. It’s because they’re eating like mofos; and also because developmentally their bodies are stimulated to grow. There are genes that are turned on in fetal development that will NEVER be turned on again in a human’s life. When I do an assessment for “failure to thrive” in a baby, my first question is not, “How much sleep is your baby getting?” it’s “What are you feeding your baby?”

So bottom line, lots of good reasons to sleep. Being like a baby should not be one of them. Watch out for spurious associations being mistaken for causality.”

Bryan Chung did a great job on his review but he fails to get the conceptual point of the “anabolic baby” reference.  This post is a good example of failing to see the big picture. If Bryan was trying to see my point, instead of his quest to call people out, he would see that my protocol was an adult’s sleep duration and not 16+ hours (that of a newborn).  If I truely wanted more “exponential growth” for adult athletes I would most likely request an increase of the length of sleep in my audio interview beyond the normal guideline. I advocated what the AASM suggests for healthy adults and nothing more.

Of course liquid diets and underarmour diapers would be suggested to get maximum growth…right! The purpose of the baby reference was about rest and feeding (of course my next sentance was omitted ), but it looks like Mr.Chung didn’t pick that up. Cytofuse and insulin drive Mr.Chung?  I am surprised he never commented on the error of mine when I failed to say American Academy of Sleep Medicine instead of American College of Sleep Medicine…but like I warned in minute 38 of my interview, “see the big picture”.  Babies get it done period. They are very vocal when they are hungry and sleep when they are tired. Learn from the example but don’t try to extend things in efforts to justify correlation fallacy. I mean Bryan do you think any gym is going to have a “sleeping pill dealer” in the men’s locker room at a hardcore gym? (ZMA comes close but nobody in their right mind will think that sleep will pack 40 pounds of muscle as nitobol and other evening products are on the market still). Feel free to pick at my lack of spell check and rushed typing as this is a blog post and not a term paper.  Speaking of sleep time for bed.

Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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