Here is an amazing website (run by a friend of mine who keeps me in one piece). I will be adding a permanent link to The Physio Spot in the resources section. This article discusses how sleep, or a lack of, can impact injury risk as well as pain management.
In case you didn’t know, sleep is kind of an important thing. Dianna will speak to the many benefits but I view sleep as filling up the cup before you pour it out the next day. You can only drink from a half-empty cup for so long before you eventually die of thirst. Dramatic? Maybe, but it underlines the importance of sleep.
I use the bedtime feature in the iPhone clock app to track my sleep. I like to look back over the past week to see my highs, lows and average amount of sleep. Taking this further I compare this to my Heart Rate Variability readings over the past few days to figure out how I am recovering. (Aside from the standard “do I feel good or like a bag of dicks today?”). Based on this info I adjust my training load and/or work harder to adjust my sleep habits to make sure I’m hitting the sweet spot between fully rested and productive.
Sleep is something I have tried to take seriously since my daughter was born over a year ago. Between parenting and working shift work I do my best to get to bed at a reasonable time, and be asleep for a decent length of time. I aim for a minimum of 7 hours on average during the heavy part of our shift schedule and for any time off I try to up that to 8 hours. If I happen to sneak in some naps and my average is low I make sure to add them in manually. However, if I’m averaging more than 7 hours per night and happen to get a nap I don’t worry too much about recording it. Those are the days where I allow myself some freedom, almost like a reward for doing such a good job going to bed.
And now, on to the main focus of this post… here is Dianna’s take on sleep. Enjoy!