Sleep can often be described as the holy grail amongst parent folk.
If you haven’t entered into a battle of who is the most sleep-deprived with your partner after having children or discussed how many hours you got the night before at the school gate then you may want to share your secret.
On a more serious note, though, a lack of sleep can be a huge problem for many people in today’s fast-paced society, and it can be hard to get a decent night’s rest. Not getting enough hours each night can result in poorer running performance and even turn us off the sport altogether. So, rest assured and feel empowered once more as here are some of the ways you can get more of the “ZZZZZs” back in your life.
Sometimes people struggle with their sleep because of rising noise levels in the night. It might be because your home is on a busy road, or simply you live in a noisy part of town. The answer isn’t to move home unless, of course, you want to. It’s about finding low-cost solutions, and sometimes using earplugs can provide you with the peace and tranquility you need for a restful night’s sleep. Noise can disrupt your sleep pattern, so if you can find a solution that works you may find you get more hours at night.
Switch off the technology before bed
Technology before bed can actually keep your mind stimulated rather than relax you. You may think that reading on a kindle, watching a YouTube video on your iPad, or even logging into Facebook on your phone before bed is relaxing, but the light behind the technology screen is stimulating to the brain and this can keep you up at night. A good tip is to switch off all technology at least an hour before heading to bed. Yes – that even includes Strava!
Cut down on alcohol or caffeinated drinks
Alcohol and caffeinated drinks are also not that great for you if you are more conscious of getting a good night’s sleep. Both act as stimulants to the brain and can have the opposite effect of what you want. Alcohol can often be seen as a way of helping you fall asleep, and while this may happen initially you may find that you are wide awake in the middle of the night. Reduce the amount you have or even consider not drinking those sorts of drinks a few hours before bed. Choosing a warm drink as an alternative. You may also find that reducing alcohol and caffeine in your diet will improve your running – although, you may not be ready to give up the gels just yet.
Keep your bedroom cool
Many people can find that sleeping in a warm room can actually be disruptive to your sleep, so instead make sure your room is cool and airy before going to bed. You could consider opening a window and letting some air in or switching off any heating in your room at night.
Don’t run too near to bedtime
Heading out for an evening run can be a wonderful experience, but if you choose to run too late in the day, you may sabotage your efforts in achieving a better night’s sleep. The endorphins may mean that you are way more awake than you want to be, and you will struggle to drop off. Aim to leave at least two hours between the end of your run and heading to bed.
Invest in a decent mattress
Finally, what you sleep on is very important, so it is worth being mindful of investing in a decent mattress. Make sure you take the time to try out different styles, some prefer soft while others prefer a firmer base.
Let’s hope some of these tips help you get a better night’s sleep thus allowing you to work on improving your running.