Most runners, whether they are a first-timer or a veteran, take on the task of creating a training program to help map out dates and distances for runs, schedule cross-training, and for some, even note specific dietary needs! One piece of the training plan that can often get left off is when to sleep and how long to sleep. Review the below questions to learn how #SleepFuels your marathon training.
How Much Sleep Do I Need?
Sleep is personal. While there is no magic number for everyone, it is recommended to get an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Getting less than that increases the likelihood of sustaining an injury by 70%! This is because a lack of sleep negatively effects reaction time making you more accident-prone while also offsetting your balance. BEDGEAR helps you maximize your recovery while asleep by fitting you for a Performance pillow and mattress best suited to support you based on your sleep position, body type and temperature preferences.
Sleep In or Early Morning Run?
If you didn’t get the seven to nine hours you were aiming for, you’re better off hitting snooze. This includes waking up early occasionally or even once a week for a longer run! You may do more harm than good by depriving your body of the sleep it’s accustomed to. While sleep and exercise are both important—especially when you’re training for a marathon—it is important to make sure you have the minimum amount of sleep to function properly, otherwise you’re not primed to make the most out of your workout and per the above question, could increase the risk of injury.
Stay Up and Run or Go to Bed?
In general, it is recommended to any cardio or high-intensity workout at least two hours before bed to give your body time to cool off and calm down. Physical activity such as running increases your temperature and raises your adrenaline making it more difficult for your body to wind down and fall asleep. BEDGEAR’s breathable fabric technology aids in your body’s natural shift to decrease its temperature as you sleep by deflecting heat away from you, helping you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
So, When Should I Run?
Consistency is key. Your body’s natural circadian rhythm is very strong and the best way to achieve great race day results is to aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time, scheduling runs at a very similar cadence that is ideally synced with the timing of the big race. For example, if your race start time is 8:30 a.m., start your training run at 8:30 a.m. This will help you put your best foot forward come race day as you’ll be working with your circadian rhythm, not fighting against it.
Power of the Power Nap?
Power naps can be very useful, but cannot replace lost sleep. BEDGEAR’s Sleep Scientist, Dr. Lorenzo Turicchia recommends power naps to be more productive. A 15-minute nap can be amazing for anyone who needs to perform in their lives whether on a run or while at work. It is worse to force yourself through a workout or run for an hour without sleep than it is to take a 15-minute nap and have a much stronger 45-minute run. Dr. Turicchia advises people to nap for no more than 20 minutes because you enter a different stage of sleep and it can be very difficult to wake up.