Did you know, as an endurance athlete, we should be aiming for 9-10 hours of sleep after a long workout, hard session or race?! These hours help your body absorb the work, recover and bounce back. It helps optimise performance.
STRESS + REST = GROWTH
If you don’t get a good night’s sleep – think about skipping that easy run or postponing your run until lunch/after work. The point of the easy run is to help your body recover, easy miles aren’t the priority. Save your energy for the key workouts.
It’s amazing how quickly sleep deprivation can build up, an hour each night adds up to almost a whole night over a week. And this can have a real effect on both your daily workout performance but your overall recover and therefore progression.
I struggle with anxiety related insomnia.
Sometimes it’s a struggle to fall asleep, more often though, it’s waking in the early hours, unable to fall back to sleep.
I’ve shared these problems, and some of the solutions that I’ve discovered over the years before, you can read about them here. But since Tom and I are moving house soon (we’ve had an offer accepted, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it all goes to plan!), we are thinking about interiors for our new bedroom. I’m really keen to create a calming environment conducive to sleep, relaxing and recovery.
I’m working with Tempur mattresses to look at how sleep can affect stress- in particular training stresses. I’ve created my dream bedroom moodboard to help me maximise my sleep and training for my BQ in September… (you can see more of my mood boards for our house on my Pinterest).
-Paint it calming colours; I would love to be able to afford Farrow and Ball paints, but there are other things I’d rather spend my money on, so we got our paints colour matched. We’ll probs do the same for our new house. I love the idea of a grey with purple tones.
– Organisation. I am not tidy, whereas Tom is ridiculously tidy (and a little particular) – we’re getting around this slight conflict by including plenty of storage within our room, adding in another in-built wardrobe. Oh and one of the spare rooms is going to be my office/dressing room, with a wall of trainers…
– Create a super comfortable bed. Tom and I have different taste in pillows, so we spent some time choosing the right one for each of us. Oh and I have realised that sleeping with just one pillow is best for me, whilst Tom sleeps with two or three! Luckily we both like a firm mattress and love a King size. We’re planning on buying a new bed and mattress for our new house – and I love the idea of getting a large headboard as a focal point for the room.
-The right prints. Personally, I have a ‘Wake Up, Workout’ print ready to hang in our new bedroom for a while. I’m a little corny and really like inspirational quotes so will definitely be adding more of these to our future house. I love the shelf above the bed idea to display framed prints without committing to hanging them on the wall. That way, you can change them in and out as you like.
– I love our Wake Up light, especially for those dark winter months. I use it to gradually go to sleep (while listening to a podcast or audiobook) and to wake up for early morning workouts.
– Good quality bedding. I really like the Egyptian cotton from The White Company – we buy ours discounted from Bicester Village. Getting in to fresh sheets on a Sunday night is a serious treat after a long run!
– I also want to get into the habit of stretching and foam rolling first thing in the morning and before going to bed. I’m planning to set up a yoga mat in one corner of our room as a daily reminder to prioritise active recovery too.
– Plants and flowers. My friend Emily has a house full of plants (actually I’ve only seen them on instagram but am going to visit her in Portland in Sept) and I’m so envious. I love having plants and fresh flowers in the house, and am obsessed with succulents at the moment. Studies have shown that they also help lower stress levels, improve mood and improve concentration.
What would be in your dream bedroom? I pretty much want everything from the West Elm website!
Also, do any other runner’s almost never get 9-10 hours of sleep? I was shocked when I read that stat, and realised that the night after the marathon is often one of my worst nights of sleep!
TEMPUR® are supporting the Mental Health Foundation as the chosen charity for 2018.
The Mental Health Foundation have pioneered new ways of looking at mental health and improving the lives of people experiencing mental illness for more than 60 years.
TEMPUR® will be donating £10 for every mattress sold through the TEMPUR® UK website, or through a TEMPUR owned store (brand or outlet) throughout May 2018.
Good luck with new house – too many shoes/trainers?? G.
Best of luck with the house! How exciting! I feel like we have similar home decorating tastes. I try to limit myself to a few West Elm items per room so the house doesn’t look like a West Elm ad, and I don’t have to declare bankruptcy. I painted my bedroom “River Veil” by Behr. It’s a grey with blue rather than purple undertones, and I love how it turned out.
I’d also suggest having good window coverings to help darken the room properly when it’s time to go to bed early in the summer, and it’s still bright out.
I swear my coach is obsessed with my sleep! He actually seems more interested in it than my running! I’m like you and have suffered from insomnia for most of my life, I also deal with extremely poor quality sleep from time to time, and I really notice an impact on my performance. Routine is king for me, and I’m obsessed with making sure our bedroom is as calm as tidy as possible – not easy when you live with a human wirlwind! Good luck with the new house, I’m keeping everything crossed for you! xx
I really struggle with lack of sleep and know it’s something I need to work on. Working weekend night shifts alongside a part time evening job and training for an ultra all with a toddler in tow…everything seems to be pulling me in different directions all the time right now. I tend to just have one hour on a Sunday night, which really isn’t ideal, but it’s all I can slot in at the moment. I try to make sure I get at least 7 hours minimum on three of the other days during the week though.
I’m not sure anybody in the modern working world can justify having 9-10 hours of sleep? There always seems to be too much to have to fit into the day. I wonder how many hours of sleep pro athletes get on average?