Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Yesterday morning began with an easy 45 minute run near my house. This was my first Saturday morning run in over a month and it was a great one. Running on Saturday morning is one of my favorite parts of the weekend and I’ve really missed it.

WORKOUT: Ran outside 5.4 miles/45:00 8:18 avg. pace, and walked along the lake with my sister – 3-4 miles.

I’m still feeling pretty slow on these easy runs but I’ve only been back running for a week and I don’t want to push myself. Something I noticed during my run was how much energy I had. Friday night, I fell asleep at 10pm and slept for a glorious 8 hours. CONFESSION: I do NOT get enough sleep. Most runners (especially the super-motivated Type A personalities) tend to work hard in all aspects of their lives and don’t give their body the rest it needs. Sleep has often fell by the wayside for me. Working 40 hours, job searching (which is practically a full time job), volunteering, networking,  spending time with family and friends, and now marathon training takes up a lot of my time.


Several studies have shown that proper sleep has increased reaction time, endurance, and alertness in athletes – which translates to better performance. I’m working on being a better athlete by trying to achieve a higher level of endurance and speed, and I need enough sleep to make sure my body is recharging. The key to allowing sleep to improve your athletic performance is like any other form of practice – efficiency and consistency.

So I’m working on a routine where I’m in bed at 9:30pm and asleep by 10:30pm. It’s not always going to be easy but I’m making it a priority. I keep talking about living up to my running potential and without enough sleep I know it won’t happen. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that most average adults need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night and that’s what I’m aiming for.

How many hours of sleep do you get? Have you notice the effect of sleep on your workouts?

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  1. You are so right! I preach that getting enough sleep is just as important to a healthy lifestyle as working out or eating right. I can always tell when I’m not getting enough sleep. I’m very sensitive to it. My husband gets insomnia sometimes and started using melatonin to help him go to sleep at bed time. If you have a hard time falling asleep, maybe that’s something you’d want to look into.
    Good luck on your marathon training! I admire anyone with enough perseverance to run like that. I run a little, but I really can’t stand it. 😉

    • I’m the same way Michelle…I get really sensitive and sometimes irritable. I’m a much happier person when I get enough sleep.

  2. I have a hard time deciding on the trade off between getting plenty of sleep, and waking up at 5 AM for another workout or run! It seems if I don’t get enough sleep, running is usually to blame. A bit ironic I think.

    • That’s my problem! I wake up at 5am every morning and it’s hard to be asleep by 10pm. This is definitely going to be a challenge.

  3. This is something I really need to work on, too. I have a hard time relaxing enough to fall asleep and then I tend to wake up a lot throughout the night. I’m hoping I can get into some better habits this summer and get at least 8 hours each night. I need a really dark, cool room and a white noise machine of some kind to get a really good sleep.

  4. I sleep about 9-10 hours…I feel like I get too much! But I also need to get a job, and until I do, I’m going to enjoy the extra sleep! But you are very right; it’s very important!! And congrats on the run this morning…I hope you vicariously took me with you! (Though, I was asleep at the time and didn’t know…hahaha). 🙂

  5. This is some great information! I need to start sleeping more as well. Gotta be ready for Chicago Marathon in October!

  6. I definitely agree with you on the job searching. It definitely is a full-time job and it sucks all the energy out of me! I wrote about sleep deprivation a while back after I watched an interesting episode of Gossip Girl (when Blair works tooo hard at her internship, but ends up making a big mistake due to a lack of sleep!) I’m happy to see you wrote about this because I feel people need to be more aware of how important it is to allow your body to rest. We live in a society of stress and working overtime, but there’s no need for that. America should have a national “Nap” day!

    • Nice reference to Gossip Girl… love it! 🙂

      We do work too hard and end up getting sick or burning out because of it.

      It’s hard to slow down when it seems like everyone is working so hard.

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