I feel like I have been running on fumes this week and I really underestimated my need for sleep. I kind of accidentally-on-purpose had a caffeinated almond milk latte with my dinner on Tuesday after convocation and of course that meant I couldn’t fall asleep Tuesday night! I cut my caffeine intake off promptly at 9 am because the stuff lasts at least 12 hours in my system! I envy you people who can drink coffee any time and not have it affect your sleep!
I worked late Wednesday and then hit the track bright and early Thursday so another short night. I was feeling it yesterday and after work my mom and I went for an hour walk and I came home and crashed. I was unusually happy that I scheduled Friday as my rest day this week because it meant A) my body would get a chance to rest after some speed work yesterday and B) I could get a couple extra hours of sleep!
Sleep is so integral to life, especially for people who exercise or are training. I know for sure when I haven’t had enough sleep when I set out for a run, glance down at my warm up pace and what feels like equal effort to previous runs is actually 30-60 seconds slower per mile. My workouts immediately display the effects of lack of sleep! Exercise and sleep kind of go hand in hand though because people who exercise on a regular basis tend to sleep better for longer.
I know for a fact that when I wake up early, hit the gym for a solid workout, get those endorphins flowing, and then tackle the day, I fall asleep in about 2.3 seconds that night. The more our bodies work, the better we sleep and the more we need our sleep.
I feel amazing after a full 8 hour sleep but everyone needs different amounts. Some people wake up refreshed after 6 hours and other need at least 9 to feel alive. I need about 8. Anything less and over time I feel the effects but anything more and I feel groggier. How many hours a night do YOU feel your best with?
I found some great tips for getting a better sleep and the ones I KNOW work for me are #3, #6, and reading a book. I have some excellent evolutionary biology and history of science and medicine text books if anyone wants something to read that will put them to sleep instantly.
I am definitely guilty of thinking that 5 hours of sleep just to wake up and get to the gym for a two hour workout is the best option. I like getting my workout done in the morning so instead of rescheduling half of my workout after work or something I am stubborn and stumble my way to the gym half asleep. Sleep was one of my main tapering goals and I am happy to say I put a lot of effort into that goal 😉 Sleep should always be a priority and I know when I make it one of mine I feel a million times better and my workouts show it!
What is something that helps you sleep better?
How many hours a night do you strive for?