The Power of Sleep


Today’s Workout: 3 miles @ 29:28

Hello, All! It is 11:30 at night as I wrote this, and I’m exhausted, so my “Saturday post” (which you will actually read on Sunday, unless you’re on West Coast time) will be pretty brief.

First things first, if you tried to guess the correct answer to yesterday’s Fact Friday post, if you guessed #5, you were correct. I sometimes do paint my nails before a race day, but it definitely isn’t a pre-race ritual. In fact, I don’t really have any race rituals, other than wearing my lucky race socks.

Since I’m exhausted, I thought it might be a good idea to talk sleep. This is something I haven’t felt like I’ve been getting enough of lately, and I can tell it’s affecting my running. Yes, I’ve been getting a little sick of the treadmill lately, but my mind and body have both become a little bit weaker because I’ve been getting between 5-6 hours of sleep a night. Here are a few facts about sleep that the runner should be aware of:

• It is recommended that humans get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Athletes should actually get closer to 9 hours of sleep to allow their bodies to fully rest and recover.

• Sleep in general can dehydrate you, but lack of sleep actually dehydrates you even more. So get lots of sleep and drink up (and not coffee, this actually dehydrates you even more, and masks the fact that you’re tired).

• If you are a big coffee drinker (which I know I AM, and I think most runners are), you need to drink even more water than you normally would, because coffee is a diuretic and dehydrates you.

• Lack of sleep can actually make you more susceptible to injury.

Bottom line for runners, sleep is important, so make sure you get enough of it! We all have crazy busy schedules, I know; we want to be able to get all of our runs in, and we (of course) like to blog about our runs, but we also need our sleep. Sometimes, something’s gotta give to ensure
that we get enough sleep.

Earlier today, I was reading Run Eat Repeat’s post about MEGSMILES. Last week, Meg Cross Menzies was hit by a drunk driver while running. In light of this tragedy, people across the world ran in honor of her today. Since I didn’t find out about MEGSMILES until today, I’ll be dedicating my 10-mile log run to her tomorrow.

Do you have any pre-race rituals? If so, what are they?

How much sleep do you get, on average? Is it the recommended amount, or below that?


4 thoughts on “The Power of Sleep

  1. Megan @ Meg Go Run

    I didn’t find out about the Megs Miles thing until today too. I feel so out of the loop. However my PT told me not to run for now, but I guess I could dedicate some minutes on the arc trainer though! I’m sure as a runner, she would have appreciated the importance of cross training!

    I try to get as much sleep as possible… and since I don’t have any kids, that is pretty easy to do! I get up between I go to bed anytime between 8:30-10:00pm and get up between 5-5;30am. I am happiest if I am in bed by nine o clock! 8-9 hours is perfect for me!.

  2. Heather

    I DO paint my nails a funky colour as a pre-race ritual! 😀 (and shave my legs, lol).

    I love my sleep and actually will nap on the couch after a long or hard run.

  3. willrunforpizza

    I knew I should have linked Meg’s Miles in my blog the other day…I ran my 10 for her yesterday too! Hope you “enjoy” your TM run today and it goes fast! I really only get about 6 hours of sleep a night – and that is solid hours because I crash before my head even hits the pillow! My husband makes fun of me. He always asks how I slept and the other day I was like, “I ALWAYS sleep good! It’s a gift!” I don’t even wake up in the middle of the night to pee or anything. Which, thank God, because The Hus is up and down ALL night long getting drinks of water and peeing and tossing and turning and I NEVER hear a thing!

  4. Adriana @Laced Up With Lipstick

    I get plenty of sleep but I know I need to drink more water. I am huge coffee drinker and I find myself chugging a bottle of water before bed and waking up so thirsty. I need to make it more of a priority to get some more water, thanks for the reminder! 🙂 Happy Sunday.


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