The article following is on sleep and how it relates to running
Sleep – How Much Do Runners Need and How To Get It
Sleep goes with running like peanut butter and jelly. It’s a match made in a runner’s dreams, assuming you can actually get to a REM state of bliss. Unlike other dynamic duos, sleep can be elusive for runners, especially when they need it most.
Let’s start with the basics:
How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?
This answer can get a little complicated. You may be surprised to know that according to research by the National Sleep Foundation, there is no magic number and, similar to running shoes, everyone’s needs are different. When it comes to sleep, there are several factors involved in getting your ultimate shuteye nirvana.
Lifestyle, stress, age, and gender all contribute to how much or how little you may need. Some people can function perfectly with six hours of sleep, while others require at least nine. Are you running 15 or 50 miles per week? Are you training for a big race or just running for fun? All of these things will contribute to the amount of sleep you require to run, race and function at your peak.
There are two more very important things to consider – your basal sleep need, the amount needed on a regular basis and sleep debt, the accumulated sleep that is lost. Classic causes of sleep debt include new babies, pre-race jitters, sickness, working the night shift or any other factors that contribute to loss of sleep or change in your cycle.
**Early morning runners, beware! It’s better to skip that 4:30 a.m. long run if you have a night of interrupted sleep. Plan on doing it in the next several days, after you’ve had one full night of sleep, or you’re likely to see your performance suffer.
It’s this cycle, and the compounding effect of sleep debt, that led to the theory of getting a good night’s sleep two nights prior to a big race, and not worrying so much if you don’t get a solid eight hours the night before. I mean, who does?
How Can You Get More?
When it comes to sleep, it’s better to be consistent and to establish good bedroom habits than to simply get more. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be in dreamland longer than you think:
- Wake up and go to sleep at the same time each day. Yes, even on weekends.
- Use your bedroom for sleep and sex only. No technology allowed, not even the TV.
- Make sleep a priority. Think of it as cross training since it’s that important to your training and racing success, if not more.
Why Do Runners Need Consistent Sleep?
Sleep is a tricky thing. On the outside, it seems as though you just lay there, vulnerable to the world and possibly drooling, for as long as you can or want to. On the inside, your body is hard at work repairing and rebuilding all the “good” damage done by your long training run, speed workout, strength training or race. It’s a mental as well as physical break and is as crucial to your training program as your diet.
There Is Such A Thing As Too Much Sleep
It seems like a joke, but getting too much sleep can be just as bad for you as too little. Both are linked to increased illness, accidents and even death. There’s a Goldilocks theory here, and you need to find the sleep number that is just right for you. The fun part will be doing the research.
How much sleep do you get night? Do you try to get a “good-night’s sleep” the night before a race?
Read more: http://runhaven.com/2015/01/19/sleep-much-runners-need-get/#ixzz43SyvsNWS
LOCAL RACES FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
May 23rd: https://raceroster.com/events/2016/7461/watford-alvinston-road-race
June 5th: https://raceroster.com/events/2016/6447/ymca-chok-39th-annual-international-bridge-race
June 19th: https://raceroster.com/events/2016/6966/huron-house-boys-home
July 16th: https://raceroster.com/events/2016/6369/st-clair-river-run
Sept 11: https://raceroster.com/events/2016/7309/race-for-health-2016