My past few weeks have been a whirlwind of travel, kids stuff (track, soccer, chess), cheering on runners, promoting races, and finally: running races!! The one thing that I looked forward to the most after the Glass City races this year was sleep. Well, I mean, after that well earned mug of Glass City Glory!!
I had been getting pretty decent sleep on most days, but on race day I was up at 4:30am! Not because I couldn’t sleep, and not because I had to leave early to find parking (bonus for local races!!), but because our Moms Run This Town group set up a tent in Rally Row!!
We met at 5:15am to insure that we got everything set up in time, and we did. We did a pretty kickass job bringing on the cheer if I say so myself!! Rally Row is a strip along mile 26 where tents were set up to help encourage all of the marathons make that last .2 miles to the finish. We saw so many friends crossing that finish line… it was inspirational!
How about your sleep on a daily basis? When I’m training I aim for 7 hours of sleep. That gives me time to wake up early before my family gets up (around 5:20am) but yet still spend time with Alan and the kids, and get a few things done around the house before I go to bed in the evening.
Rest and recovery are two of the easiest things to put into a training plan when you think about it… you don’t have to do anything. Do nothing. And sleep. Who doesn’t like some extra sleep? We are pretty lucky around our house that we don’t get sick often. In fact, it’s been years since I have been sick (I shouldn’t have said that out loud!!). BUT, when I do get sick, it’s because I’m run down. Run down from traveling, hectic schedule, or just running a big event like a marathon! Those things are all draining, and they tax your body. I need my sleep!!
I’m on a hiatus from running right now. Following my race on Sunday I’m shooting for 2 weeks off from running. My body just needs it. It’s going to be tough, but I’m going to focus on cross training, strength training, and giving my body a rest.
Speaking of rest, did you know the average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Most only get around 5 to 7 hours. Yikes. I could not function on only 5 hours, so I’m glad I’m getting that 7 hours. Interesting fact – many pro athletes get 10-12 hours of sleep!! I’m sure we can’t all afford the massages and personal trainers they also have, but at least we could all carve out some extra sleep time in our training plans. [I’m talking to you Alan, who is a night owl, and a forced early riser due to the kids schedule!!] The good news is that you don’t need a lot of money to improve your sleep. Quality pillows are affordable and an excellent alternative to replacing your mattress. A comfortable pillow is a MUST for me. My husband can sleep on a rock and be fine. Not me, I’m obsessed with having the right pillow.
Studies also show that napping can have a great benefit as part of your sleep routine too. Fact is, if you’re working out hard, you’re going to be tired. If you can fit a nap in, it will serve you well!
And… there are lots of highly beneficial activities going on when you are sleeping. Check them out here…
So far I’ve been a good sleeper, but when my kids were born that was another story. For a while I suffered from waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep. I’ll leave you with my tip on productive sleeping: “If you wake up in the middle of the night, don’t look at the time on your clock. It will just make you anxious, and even harder to fall back asleep!!”
I know we’ve discussed sleeping a while ago, and I told you about how I stopped sleeping with my body pillow. I’m happy to report that I fall asleep every night without it. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I pull the body pillow back into bed with me. I consider that a happy mix. That way, when I travel, I can sleep fine without it.
How about you….
Q: Are you a sound sleeper, or do you have problems with waking up/falling back asleep?
Q: How many hours of sleep do you get typically (maybe during the week)?
Q; Side sleeper, back sleeper, or on belly?
Q: Do you arms ever go numb when you sleep???
I was getting freaked out with that issue, and then realized when I sleep on my back I don’t have that problem. No need for for further scary Googling of the cause of the problem!! My arms were getting trapped. Phew!