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I strongly disagree with this question being closed. https://fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/7112/is-it-good-to-listen-to-very-relaxing-music-right-before-sleep

You don't make fitness gains while you exercise, you make your gains while sleeping. Closing the question as off topic eliminates discussion of a very crucial topic in fitness.

If you only do one thing to improve your fitness, getting quality sleep would be it. Anything else you try to do in the absence of quality sleep won't see you making any worthwhile gains, and could in fact be detrimental.

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  • I don't agree, but it's a good question and deserves to be raised. :) – Dave Liepmann Jul 10 '12 at 2:02
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The person didn't phrase their question to relate it to fitness at all, so their question wasn't intended to address any of their personal fitness concerns.

I don't think sleep is off-topic as a rule, but the way that question was asked, without us inferring more to the asker's motivation than written, I think it's right to call it off-topic.

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  • That's an excessively subjective way of handling it. If you know what you're talking about, sleep is relevant to fitness. If you think the question isn't worded to your liking then you can always edit it so the wording is more appropriate. Asking the same question different ways and getting one closed and the other remaining open isn't a good way to handle the site. – Robin Ashe Jul 3 '12 at 19:29
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    I don't want to put words in the asker's mouth. It's not subjective. It's extremely objective, relying on exactly what the asker has stated. – user3085 Jul 3 '12 at 19:30
  • In that case waiting for clarification before closing the question is the appropriate course of action. – Robin Ashe Jul 3 '12 at 19:31
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    It can always be re-opened after the person clarifies. There's no permanence to a closing. But definitely, the closer should explain their reason for closing, so the person has an opportunity to clarify. – user3085 Jul 3 '12 at 19:32
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    @RobinAshe - Closing the question blocks people from answering the question in an "out-of-scope" manner. Thus we eliminate the need to clean up and modify answers that were posted prior to the clarification later. – Nathan Wheeler Jul 3 '12 at 21:16
  • I don't see any clean up happening in on topic questions that have later been clarified with an edit rendering some of the answers moot. Why the different standard? Also, particularly if the member is new, closing their question will likely just discourage them from coming back. Area-51 shows Fitness.SE is lacking in some areas, and definitely needs more members. Indiscriminately closing questions is a very heavy handed approach that'll only ensure it never reaches the critical mass it needs. – Robin Ashe Jul 3 '12 at 21:18
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    Well, we can work on closing some of those questions, too, then. I have started voting to close them when I notice them. It's not a different standard, it's just that there are only so many people that can close questions. Indiscriminately closing questions is heavy-handed, but I don't think that happened in this case. About scaring away new members, if the closer is very clear about the reason for the closure, and provides some direction to improve the question if the asker really has something in-scope to ask, I don't think that will discourage them. – user3085 Jul 3 '12 at 21:48
  • I'm talking about clean-up not off-topic questions. Nathan was suggesting that closing is necessary to prevent clean-up later, but that clean-up would seem to be very necessary for some on-topic questions, and it's not happening there at all. – Robin Ashe Jul 4 '12 at 8:42
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    @RobinAshe The distinction would be that newly-deprecated answers to an out-of-scope question are qualitatively different (and inferior) to newly-deprecated questions to an in-scope question. – Dave Liepmann Jul 10 '12 at 2:00
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I think sleep is crucial to health and fitness, just like nutrition. But so is sun exposure, first aid skills, and having a good social life.

We found that if we broadly allowed food and body questions, question quality dropped precipitously and we lost focus. I like first aid (and nutrition, and vitamin D via sun exposure, and socializing); I think everyone should know first aid; I think questions about first aid are valuable; but first aid (like sleep) needs to be out of scope unless it has a specific connection to physical activity. If it's just a general issue of "sleep is good", we need to pass on the question because it makes the site less effective.

There's a separate question about closing the question. Standard practice across Stack Exchange is to close, wait for an edit, then re-open. This seems heavy-handed until you note that the original user (or, y'know, anybody) is free to edit the question to move it in-scope. It's really that answers are verboten when the question is closed. (And the question is slated for deletion after some time.)

I think this was a good use of the close option, particularly since it might drag the OP into describing the reason behind the use of the tag "sports psychology", which might be our connection to in-scope fitness.

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  • Unlike sun exposure and first aid, sleep has been shown through scientific research, advice from some well regarded fitness personalities and personal experience of a number of people to be as much, if not more important than the exercise itself. If you focus on exercising well one day per week and sleeping well every day, you'll get much better results than if you just focus on exercising every day. That's why I'd suggest sleep is very specifically important to fitness. – Robin Ashe Jul 10 '12 at 6:00
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    @RobinAshe Sun exposure (via vitamin D) has been shown through scientific research to be a powerful health marker as well, but that's not relevant. People who eat like crap have a hard time hitting their fitness goals too, but nutrition questions (as you can see from numerous meta discussions) are no longer allowed without a fitness tie-in. The problem is that allowing sleep-qua-sleep questions, just like nutrition-qua-nutrition questions, dilutes the site focus and user base, creating a poorer quality site. – Dave Liepmann Jul 10 '12 at 13:35

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