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Go to Sleep by Lawrence Zhou
Lawrence Zhou is a graduate assistant at the University of Wyoming, head coach of Team Wyoming, and an assistant coach at Apple Valley High School. He was formerly the Director of Lincoln-Douglas Debate at Victory Briefs.
Need to convince debaters to sleep, especially during tournaments? Send them this card file.
Back when I was coaching at The Harker School a few years ago, we were at some in-person tournament (I believe it was middle school TOC, but my memory could be totally off on that) and one of the other assistant coaches named Matt Liu (then Struth) was chastising the debaters for not going to sleep early enough. The debaters retorted that they had no need for sleep and were intent on staying up the whole night either goofing off or cutting cards.
Soon after, Liu posted a file in the Harker Slack called "Sleep Good" which contained several incredibly qualified pieces of evidence demonstrating the importance of sleep to both health and performance. The first card was from the Harvard Business Review and was called "Sleep Deficit: The Performance Killer," and that article alone convinced me. Since debaters are often persuaded by cards, they begrudgingly accepted the force of the evidence and (claimed they) went to sleep.
I recently finished reading the book Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker (partially inspired by my Health and Debate post) and was reminded of that old Sleep Good file. As any good debater does, I cut some passages from the book that I thought were particularly applicable to debate (although there are so many good chapters from the book that are worth reading independent of its application to debate) and used those passages to update the sleep good file in advance of a college policy tournament the Wyoming team is debating at this weekend.
I have produced that file and made it publicly available below. Please feel free to use the file and cards to convince debaters to sleep. As much as debaters think they can succeed without sleep during tournaments, the scientific evidence strongly suggests the opposite. Go to sleep or lose rounds (and hurt your health)!