Healthy Monday for Runners: Sleep


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.

Favorite Thing

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?




30 thoughts on “Healthy Monday for Runners: Sleep”

  1. I’ve been aiming for 8 hours a night, but I only usually achieve it twice a week. I was given a Jawbone Up24 bracelet for Christmas, so I’ve been tracking my sleep (it tracks steps too, but I don’t have a problem hitting daily step goals, lol).

      1. It’s really gotten me better about going to bed at a normal- ish time. I think being more conscious of my sleep habits has made me gain at least an hour or more per night.

  2. You totally just described my life! I used to be an awesome sleeper. Now I suck at it, and I had that awful insomnia night just 2 nights ago. Ugh. And I LOVE that you referenced Hyberbole and a Half. She cracks me up.

  3. I usually get around 7 on the weekdays and around 9 on the weekends. 7 is my bare minimum. I didn’t get that much last night and I am dog tired today. It makes the day so much longer and unenjoyable when I’m tired like this, not to mention how it affects my mood (not good) and my hunger (raging). Have already had dinner (5:15 PM is early!) and am planning to go to bed early to give myself extra TLC.

    1. You are good for getting mostly 7!
      I’m also quite a mess when I don’t sleep enough, tired by 3:00 PM, in the worst mood, and hungry too.. Sleep has to be more of a priority for me.

  4. I used to get by on 5 or 6 hours of sleep because I hate to miss out on stuff by sleeping through it. But I really am at my best when I’ve gotten my full 8 hours. So I try to listen to my body when I can.

  5. I have been sleeping TERRIBLE lately and I’m one of those people who can’t function if I don’t get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. I toss and turn the whole night and I wake up a million times throughout the night! I’ve considered taking melatonin but I really don’t want to.

  6. Perfect post on a sleepless night. I need my 7.5h or else I am grouchy. Sometimes, however, I naturally wake after 5 and those days I perform best. Anything over 8h makes me tired and sluggish and anything between 5 and 7 h renders me useless all day. And usually, once I have managed to fall asleep, I’m out like a light.

  7. I don’t remember what good sleep is anymore. But I do crave it. I got a FitBit for Christmas. It’s enlightening to see exactly how many times I wake up and/or am restless during the night. I’m working on it!!

  8. I have such a terrible time sleeping!! A lot of the women in my family have this problem and I usually get nowhere near the amount of sleep I should…last night, I slept for less than 6 hours…ugh… 🙂

  9. I sleep terribly!!
    I am normally in bed between 6 and 7 hours but wake up anywhere between 8 and 25 times in a night!
    I have restless legs mind you…and apparently is a recognised sleep disorder…which I never believed… but am starting to understand now!

  10. Ever since last July when I started eating healthy and ramped up my running, my sleep schedule has gotten wonky. I wake up each morning between 4:30-5:00 (like clockwork). Now granted I go to bed between 10-11 but I still seem to be averaging only about 6 hours a night… even on my off days, my body seems to wake up early. But I don’t feel tired during the day so I’m not too worried.

    1. Weird you say that because I’m the same, since I started eating better and running more, I’m sleeping less. Doesn’t seem like that should be the correlation.. if anything we should be sleeping better?

  11. I typically get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night. I really try hard to get at least 8 most nights, but sometimes it doesn’t go according to plan. Because I usually have two workouts a day, I typically sleep really well, but almost always feel as though I could have slept for another hour or two when I wake up 😉

  12. Creating a schedule is a good idea but you have to stick to it at the weekend too. This means no laying in or late nights boozing. I’m convinced that this is part of the reason people find Mondays so hard to deal with; trying to get back to the weekday schedule.

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