Sleep is on my mind today! Why?
- Carter wasn’t feeling good last night so he went to bed at 6:00 and he just now woke up – 14 hours later! Guess his body was telling him he needed some sleep!
- I “slept in” til 6:00 today (went to bed at 9:00!), so got almost 9 hours of sleep (my internal alarm always wakes me up at 4:12 a.m; my internal snooze button then wakes me up at 4:44 a.m. if I don’t drag my butt out of bed at 4:12!)
- Coach sent us an email earlier this week about the importance of getting enough rest, not just in terms of rest days from running, but in terms of SLEEP. His words of wisdom were along the lines of: life craziness prevents us from getting enough sleep, which translates into a bad workout the next day, which starts F’ing with the mind (my words, not his; I like the F-bomb), which eventually then negatively affects race performance. He also cited an article from a recent Bicyling magazine article that said not enough sleep can lead to an 8 percent decline in Vo2max, a 14 percent reduction in anaerobic power and an increase in heart rate and lactic acid (according to James B Maas, PHD and Rebecca Robbins, authors of “Sleep for Success”).
- I did some internet research and found a bunch of resources which basically confirmed sleep improves athletic performance and recovery. Recovery is improved because sleep is a significant stimulator of growth hormone release (the body’s natural agent for cell growth and reproduction). The growth hormone increases muscle mass AND also stimulates the immune system. Sleep deprivation raises levels of the stress hormone Cortisol which may interfere with tissue repair and growth.
- Most nights I get between 6.5 – 7 hours of sleep (I’m asleep by 9:00/9:30 and up at 4:00/4:30). A couple days a week I “sleep in” til 6:00, and get about 8 hours of sleep. I wish I could figure out a way to get 8 hours of sleep every night! If only this job thing didn’t interfere with my running and sleeping!
- I need to remember this stuff about the importance of sleep and embrace the extra hours of sleep I’ll be able to get during taper (when I’m not up early for workouts). Usually during taper I go crazy not working out. Now I can tell myself the extra sleep during taper is just as important as working out. Hopefully my running twin Kristy is getting lots of sleep this week leading up to what is certain to be a kick-butt performance that will get her a BQ during the Lehigh Valley Marathon on 9/11!