Who doesn’t have a bad night of sleep every now and then?
Who doesn’t know how bad it feels to be sleep deprived, tired through the day, no energy to do anything beyond the basics, irritable, etc.?
If you answered “I don’t” to either question above, I am so jealous of you.
I used to be such a great sleeper. I mean, you wouldn’t see me before noon on the weekends. Average hours of sleep I’d get a night..? 9? 10? No kidding.
Now if I can catch 6 I consider myself lucky. 7 is a dream, it happens occasionally… maybe once a week? Haven’t seen 8 in years.
Considering I wake up very early to go running, that’s no surprise.
On top of that, even the sleep I do get, is not as heavy/deep as it used to be. I probably wake up at least twice each night, that I am aware of.
Lack of sleep affects our running performance, as well as our recovery.
The recommended amount of sleep for an adult is between 7 and 8 hours each night, however each of us knows ourselves best and we know what works for us for optimal performance, recovery, and to feel rested and well during the day.
How lack of sleep affects our running:
· Perceived effort will be higher, meaning you feel like you are running harder than you actually are.
· Our ability to dissipate heat is affected, so we are not sweating as much and not cooling down effectively
· It takes our muscles longer to recover and build themselves up again
How lack of sleep affects our overall functioning and well being:
· Metabolic and hormonal changes: glucose tolerance drops, cortisol (stress hormone) increases
· Bad mood and irritability
· Reduced focus and concentration
· Higher risk of medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease
· Weaker immune system
Some suggestions to improve our sleep time:
· Keep a regular schedule for sleep, try to go to sleep and wake up at similar hours every day.
· Establish a regular and relaxing bedtime routine, reading, taking a bath, having sex, or eating a big square of your favorite chocolate.
· Avoid stressful situations for a few hours before bed, like talking on the phone with your boss (or your mom?), arguing with your significant other, or having your kids invite friends over for a pajama party.
· Avoid stimulating substances, no coffee, tea, alcohol, or drugs.
· Create a sleeping environment that works for you, make it as dark and quiet as you need.
Hope you get a good night’s sleep, cause tomorrow you gotta run!
How many hours of sleep you get every night?
Do you sleep well during those hours, and wake up rested?