The Importance of Sleep for Runners

Post in collaboration with Groupon

We all know how important it is to get a good sleep. We know we’ll feel more energised for a good night’s shut-eye, yet instead we depend on a pick up from Costa or an oh-so-delicious Nescafe instant to get us through the morning, having gone to bed too late, or simply not had good enough quality sleep. It’s easily done when you stay up finishing emails, checking Facebook, having a quick 5 minutes of Theme Hospital that turns into 5 hours (oh, that’s just me).

When you’re active, it’s especially important to try to make sure you get the best sleep you can.

Recovery and repair

Running places a lot of stress on the body. When you are training for a big event, or running hard in a race, your body needs time to repair itself and this process happens during sleep. Waking up later than usual after a long run? That’s okay, it’s your body recovering. Sleep is also great for boosting your immune system. I know I pick up every bug going when I don’t get enough sleep.

 

Trail running

 

Being more alert

How much easier was doubles maths at school first thing in the morning after a good night’s sleep? Good quality sleep refreshes the mind and helps to make us more alert and aware of our surroundings. It is so important to be alert and aware as a runner for safety purposes, whether it’s keeping an eye out on a busy road or dodging a rogue water bottle in the middle of a race. Plus sorting out pre-race logistics is SO much easier with a clearer mind!

Sleep quality matters

Quality of sleep is important and a 12 hour alcohol induced kip, accompanied by a headache upon waking is not going to be good quality sleep. Luckily, there are lots of things we can do to give ourselves the best chance of rest. Turn off your mobile phone. Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol close to bedtime. Change your bed sheets on a regular basis and make sure that you have a suitable mattress – there are always great mattress offers available on Groupon. Keep your room tidy and get into the habit of enjoying the same bedtime routine every evening. I love a hot bath, followed by reading a few pages from whatever book I have on the go.

 

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