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Rest yourself healthier

Rest yourself healthier

Published March 08, 2018, Author Paul Freary

How much sleep do I need if I'm running? Do I need more sleep if I am running? Am I getting enough sleep? Many of us have asked the questions but just know one thing, I'm feeling tired all the time! 

A good night’s rest will set you up for better days – better exercise, better moods, better concentration and better able to take everything life throws at you in your stride.

Unfortunately many of us struggle to get the amount of sleep we would like. But there are ways to improve the situation.

Make your bedroom a sleep room
Make sure that your bedroom is suited to sleep. Check light doesn’t come streaming in, ensure it is well aired (slightly cool is better than warm), and have comfy bedding. Try not to have distractions in the room, such as a TV, and worse, a tablet or your phone. Don’t sit in bed to do activities such as eating, sifting through the post or dealing with bills. Get ingrained in your mind that you are there to sleep

Get rid of the clock
Clock watching when you are trying to get to sleep is likely to get your mind active and even frustrated if you find you’re not dropping off as quick as you’d want. Move it out of sight.

Be a creature of habit
Fix a bed time and stick to it in the same way you stick to other appointments. If you have a lot to do consider getting up early instead. Being up late in a frenzy of activity may make it even harder for you to sleep. Use relaxing music to help you wind down at the end of a day. Don’t eat in the few hours before going to bed – it raises your metabolism and can make you uncomfortable when you lie down, and don’t drink caffeine in this period either. Caffiene stays in your system for hours so make your mid-afternoon coffee your last of the day (or go de-caf).

Cat nap
A short sleep can help you to top up on energy levels. Often due to the bodies natural daily cycle (circadian rhythms) people feel weary in the mid to late afternoon. A nap of 20 minutes or less can top up your energy levels. Sleeping longer can make you feel more drowsy and may affect your night’s sleep.

Find relaxation
Stress makes sleep harder and while you may not be able to get rid of it all try to find time to relax before heading to bed and also at some other point during the day. Practice mindfulness, it is proven to help. 

If there are items you can take off your ‘to do’ list during the evening before heading for bed try to get them dealt with. You may also want to have a ‘to do’ list ready for the next day so that you feel these other matters are in hand.

 

In truth, if you are training regulalry you may well need a little more sleep in order to recover. Running will help you de-stress so you should find you sleep well. One thing to note, if you are 'upping' your training in order to compete in a marathon for example, you should factor in a little more sleep or maybe more rest time, e.g. a Sunday afternoon on the couch after a long run. Not getting enough time could easily lead to illness due to the body being too run down. 

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