Sleep Hygiene...Blah, Blah, Blah
Nearly all athletes struggle with getting enough sleep. It’s a serious problem among both elites and everyday athletes. We know what to do and what the science says but then often ignore the science and continue with our typical routine.
Comedian Amy Schumer said it best, " I do have trouble sleeping...They figured out sleep. What does everyone say, an hour before bed turn your phone off and you will have the best night’s sleep. And what do we say, "No."
When I say focus on your sleep to improve performance you hear...blah, blah blah.
Perhaps because you haven’t seen others who focus on sleep and are successful. Well, if it is lack of role models you need, then know that there are many incredible athletes like Deena Kastor, Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Lebron James and Lindsey Vonn that take their sleep seriously and listen to the science. They must be doing something right!
It also might be that changing a habit or pattern is difficult and the payoff is not immediate. To stay in the game, and have the opportunity to perform at your best, you must decide if you are committed to changing your habits. If you really are then figure out what your resistance to that change is, if any. Once you know what is standing in your way then you will be able to move forward.
Sleep is the secret sauce to a successful running career. Sleep is an important component of recovery from, and preparation for, high-intensity exercise. It can bolster performance, improve recovery, and help decrease injury risk.
Research has found that most elite athletes overestimate how much they sleep and get less than the recommended 7-9 hours. Some of the causes of these disruptions include a lack of regularity because of early or late training sessions, poor sleep habits, waking up in the middle of the night because of coffee or water consumption, and an overactive mind. Addressing overall stress and having strategies for mental rest and clarity are important. However, the most important way to improve sleep is to have good sleep hygiene.
If you want to perform better AND you currently get less than 7-9 hours of sleep a night, then check out my free sleep hygiene checklist. You can use it to start making small changes that have the power to transform your running, health, and life. Athletes that’s don’t sleep enough are injured more and burn out faster.
Get comfy, put your phone down and hop in bed…your body and your performance with thank you.