Sleep is one area I’m trying to improve on in my life. It doesn’t only help my stress levels, I can tell when I skimp on sleep that it affects my athletic performance. Not just the next day but even a couple days afterwards. I’ve been closer to averaging 8 hours a sleep a night over the week but my weeknight sleep is anywhere from just under 7 to 7.5 hours each night. Which isn’t the best for helping with my recovery and performance but it’s better sleep quality than I was getting before and I’m able to get extra sleep on the weekends.
What steps am I taking to make sure I’m getting enough sleep to help my stress levels and improve recovery and performance?
Establishing a nighttime routine: Having a nighttime routine helps my body recognize that it’s time to wind down and I’ve seen improvements in how much deep sleep I’m getting every night.
Not setting an alarm on the weekends: Weekends (and holidays) are the days I can actually sleep in and get a minimum of eight hours of sleep. And now that it doesn’t get incredibly hot during the day, I don’t need to get out super early for my runs. It’s strange sleeping until 6:30 or 7 a.m. and not getting out for a run until 8 a.m. but I’m a lot less tired on the weekends and don’t need a midday nap.
Meditation before bed: this is technically part of my nighttime routine but I can’t emphasize enough how much I feel meditation has improved my sleep. I’ve been listening to a couple of different meditation podcasts but my favorite ones for getting my mind ready for bed are Relax into Sleep and Deep Rest from Meditation Oasis. Vinnie also enjoys them, he curls up next to me and falls asleep!