Thursday, February 12, 2009

Are you gettin' enough? ... (sleep, I mean)

My mission this season is to get my recovery process improved. The last few weeks I've been tracking how much I sleep and my resting heart rate, then I look at what it takes to do my workouts, and I have to tell you, it's one thing to read about the damage of sleep deprivation, it's another to see your own numbers staring you squarely in the face.

Mind you, I don't usually have any problems falling asleep, it's actually just getting to bed. I know many of you probably have the same issue. You tell everyone goodnight and then take 30 to 60 minutes to actually get into the bed and put your head on a pillow. I'll just put those dishes away, fold a load of laundry or any number of the bajillion little things needing done, and pretty soon, you've lost an hour of precious sleep.

Right now, I'm averaging about 6.5 hrs a night. It's not enough and the new habit I'm trying to install is to start the go-to-bed routine at 8:30p. Don't make fun of me. I get up real early. What are your sleep habits?

Here's a good article describing the impact of sleep deprivation.

Experience Life Magazine: Sleep Deficit: The Hidden Debt That's Hurting Us All
<<< For this reason, sleep is vital for sustaining peak mental performance, stabilizing mood, bolstering immunity, coping with stress, repairing our tissues, rebalancing our biochemistry and maintaining healthy metabolism. Hundreds of biological processes occur while we snooze — all of which allow us to be more productive, alert and healthy during our waking hours. >>>


bryan said...

sleep = the reason I was worth a crap at all last season. Prior to mid-June, I got maybe 5 hours of sleep per night. The results: 6th, 9th, 5th, 12th, 6th, 3rd (luck, probably), 7th. I was all over the place. For two-day events, I was always horrible the second day (9th, 12th, 7th).

When I changed schedules, I started getting 7 hours per night. The results: 5th, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 11th (in KC), 12th (no comment). I had a great second half because I was no longer stifling recovery with a big-time lack of sleep.

Lately, I've been aiming for a 10 p.m. bedtime (as in, in bed), and that helps a lot.

Nancy said...

Sleep is absolutely the most important ingredient for a good physical life second only to food and water. What ever it takes to have a good nights sleep of 7 or more hours is a must.

Squirrel said...

In bed at 8/8:30 and up at 4am, every day, no alarm needed:) I am absolutely a morning person.


Neve_r_est said...

11:00-5:30 But then again sleep deprivation is part of my race game too. I'd be happy to sleep till 7 everyday if I could, but shutting it off early is tough. Anything more than 8 hours and I wake up groggy and achy.


Harp said...

I'm in the same boat. I need to sleep more but trying to get everything done I need to in a day makes it tough. I'm running most days on 5 1/2 to 6 1/2. My goal is eventually start getting in 8 but I don't see it happening any time soon. Sometimes it's good to see I'm not the only one with this problem.

paxtoncoyote said...

Three to five hours a night for me! Work from 3 pm to 1 am, come home & kick it on the couch for awhile (usually something interesting on Nat. Geo. channel at that hour!) usually hit the pillow around 3 am & up with the kids at 7 am, then on the bike for a spin with the dog, I figure I can sleep when I'm dead, don't want to miss anything!

Now my wife, to bed by 9:30 at the latest, up at 4:30, routinely! Really screws up our weekends to spend some time together but that's probably why she kicks my butt at everything!

gravy said...

I stop drinking anything with caffeine around noon... then spend the rest of the day trying to winddown. But I don't race. I'm just lazy. 8-9.5 hours of sleep for me.

sydney said...

Wow, what a variety! My mission to work up to 7 hrs is underway. Last night I got 6.5. Was off to a good start, but a sick boy in the night modified my plan. Try again tonight.