Training for a Race? Get More Sleep for a Faster Finish!

runners at the finish line get more sleep

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who run and those who definitely do not. For the non-runners, running is seen as an activity saved for drastic situations and emergencies. Runners have a different take. Their reasons for running are not one-size-fits-all, however.

Running Motivations

It is overly simplistic to assume that all runners enjoy the sheer pleasure of the sport. Sure, many runners actually do enjoy the discipline. But not all. Some runners are looking for a quick calorie burn. Others are looking to build their cardio capabilities and have added running to their regular workout routines.

Many runners attest that while the sport is challenging, they find that despite the struggles, running actually makes them happier.

Although non-runners may find this statement counter-intuitive (and perhaps even a bit delusional), there's actual science to back this claim up.

Physical exercise, running included, is known to release endorphins in the brain. Endorphins act as a natural "drug" that makes a person more energetic, more awake and, yes, happier. The endorphins can kick in during a run, after a workout or both, and are generally referred to as a "runner's high." Almost every runner experiences an elevated mood after running, and most will tell you that their moods tend to be gloomier when they don't run. (Active)

The fact that running can boost the mood doesn't mean it's all sunshine and butterflies, however.

Running definitely comes with its own frustrations—some minor, and some less so.

Running Frustrations

Bad weather conditions. Seasonal allergies. A pesky neighborhood dog. Crowded sidewalks. Malfunctioning tracking apps. Ill-fitting shoes. The inevitable aches and pains. All these things and more can frustrate runners on a regular basis. Fortunately, they're usually temporary.

More serious than these fleeting issues are runners who are operating with a lack of sleep and adequate hydration. Either of these conditions can cause serious problems.

Serious Problems

Issues related to dehydration and lack of sleep pose legitimate dangers for runners.

Apart from being a genuinely hazardous condition, dehydration can have a serious impact on running performance. Good hydration keeps your blood flowing freely without causing undue strain on your heart, delivering oxygen to your hard-working muscles. Since runners tend to sweat quite a bit, they must remember to keep themselves hydrated before, during, and after their workouts.

They must also sustain consistent sleep cycles. Running on a sleep deficit is another definite concern, mainly because it can lead to so many other problems. First, the lack of sleep takes its toll on the body, and low energy levels are difficult to overcome. More troubling than those symptoms is the fact that poorly rested brains have difficulty concentrating, leading to impaired performance.

Studies have shown that chronic sleep restriction leads to cumulative deficits in our performance. For example, in those people who sleep less than 7 hours per night, impairments in their cognitive performance accumulate to levels comparable to those who are completely sleep deprived for one or even two nights. This impairment is similar to that which occurs with alcohol intoxication. (Very Well Health)

That's serious business! Impaired runners are a threat, both to themselves and others. They are much more likely to get lost, trip, fall, or stray into traffic.

The good news is that these increased risks are largely preventable.

Runners who rest well are much more likely to run well; therefore, it's important that runners learn to prioritize their sleep.

Resting Well to Run Well

In order to ensure that we're in peak shape for our runs, we must get more sleep.

First, we must consider the mental effects. Those who are tired are less able to deal with common stresses and setbacks, their emotions becoming brittle as exhaustion escalates. This is a serious consideration for all athletes, especially runners. "Moodiness, anxiety, and irritability are all effects of losing out on sleep. That can turn an ordinarily easy run into a struggle," says Sarah Bowen Shea in writing for Runner's World, and we could not agree more. That's why sleep is so vital to the runner. When we're well rested, we're able to power through even the most difficult runs, our spirits rising to meet the challenge.

Those who are caught up on sleep not only perform better on daily runs, but they're also more likely to take their daily runs. This is, of course, of prime importance, especially for runners who are training for an upcoming event. They're able to wake up on time without hitting the snooze button. They hop out of their beds, strap on their shoes, and hit the roadways.

Having What It Takes

Sometimes, all it takes to stay well-rested is to practice a measure of self-control. Setting limits on your evening TV time, cutting back on late nights out, and sticking to a consistent sleep schedule are just a few simple steps runners can take to get their sleep on track. Other times, however, there are more serious issues to deal with. Work schedules, illness, emergencies, and family problems can all prevent runners from getting a good night's sleep.

If you're going to ensure you get more sleep, however, you're going to need more than just determination and self-control. You're going to need a comfortable place to sleep.

That's where Nest Bedding comes in. While we can't fix all your running problems, we can help you find the best mattress at an affordable rate.

We Can Help

Here at Nest Bedding, we want to help you meet your running goals. While we can't promise to meet you on the track and help you train for your next big race, we can promise to help you find your next quality mattress. No matter what size, style, or shape you're in the market for, we have something that will suit your needs.

If you would like to hear more about our premium mattresses or chat about anything else, please feel free to contact us.

Better yet, stop by one of our showrooms. Our staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful without being pushy.

We hope to see you soon!

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