Sleepy Running


Over the past year I have focused on improving training with less running, more strength and more cross training and improving nutrition. I am seeing huge gains from these two but the one area that still fights me is sleep! I've always been one for poor sleep and needing my sleep. This was overly apparent when I had to work nights and would walk around like a zombie on no sleep for the 2-3 day stretch of night shifts. I knew my sleep wasn't great but then I got my Fitbit in August and it only proved my point...

Look at all that restless blue and wake up pink!

Last week I had my yearly appointment with my endocrinologist and we discussed my sleep and how It wasn't great but no worse than usual. I also told him how some afternoons I'd barely function due to fatigue. I know my poor sleep is affecting all aspects of my life but how do we fix it? We discussed decreasing my thyroid meds but that would have negative impacts on other things so decided not to.

Most people need 7-9 hours of sleep per night and many people say even more for endurance athletes, ugh! Sleep deprivation can increase perceived exertion, decrease recovery and mess with thermoregulation. What can we do...
  • Reduce caffeine: Only coffee in the morning, no matter how tired I avoid it after about 10am
  • Go to bed at the same time: Yep, between 9 and 9:30 on weeknights and usually by 10 on weekends, we are crazy party animals!
  • Avoid sleep medications: I have never taken anything.
  • Don't hit snooze! Oops! I am guilty of this and know I need to stop.
  • Limit screen time before bed: I could be better, we usually watch TV while relaxing on the couch before heading to bed
  • Limit alcohol: I have wine sometimes but not too much.
  • Good sleep environment: I think so, but I need a new pillow! 
My next training tool will be sleep, I'm hoping with my new work schedule and ability to sleep a little later that it will improve. What are your tricks to good sleep?

Comments

  1. This lady has an interesting ebook on sleep....http://www.thepaleomom.com/2016/03/sleep-and-disease-risk-scarier-than-zombies.html....my hubby has downloaded it as he has troubles sleeping through the night....

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am now using essential oils to help me sleep. I need to use a sleeping pill (over the counter) and I cut it in half, to help me sleep through the night and it doesn't leave me groggy. But I also started to use a difusser next to my bed with water and the oils in it. I use the Breathe oil which keeps my sinuses clear and it appears to be helping!

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    Replies
    1. I've never tried Oils but considering it

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  3. Uff... that is a rough stretch of sleep for you! I would be scared to track my sleep currently as our baby is still up to nurse a couple times per night. Sleep and rest are SO important to marathon training! Pretty sure my lack of sleep is the main reason I pick up colds/flu/etc.

    Reading a book before bed (like a real book, no screens, like you said!) and going to bed early help me to get more sleep. When I know I will be up a couple times, going to bed early helps me to bank a little extra sleep before the 1st wake-up happens. It's a theory anyways :)
    Amy @ http://www.livinglifetruth.com/

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    Replies
    1. Babies make sleep tough! I really do need to try reading before bed.

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