First and foremost, create a folder titled “Athlete’s Folder” this will allow you to place all your info into one folder, plus you can refer to “the Pearls of Wisdom” I leave for you each week. Second, the student will become the Master. Yes, you will find that people will be asking you for advise on training, eating, etc. So have your info on hand to respond. Third-Your Pearl of Wisdom how sleep patterns may or may not affect your running: Sleep and Rest does the body wonders. Cornell University’s sleep expert (James Maas) shared his outcomes from several studies conducted. He stated that most of us function well with at least 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep, however, runners especially should have more sleep simply because of the intensity of training for various distances that athletes train for.
MY BODY PRODUCES WHAT? Melatonin is a hormone in our bodies that helps regulate our sleep, (it is believed that our melatonin levels decrease as we age). Melatonin also regulates your circadian rhythms (a 24-hour cycle in the biochemical, physiological or behavioral process of living entities). If melatonin is at low levels, this can disrupt the normal sleep patterns which may result in insomnia.
What do you mean my Body Produces Steroids? It is imperative that you get the proper rest and sleep that you need because sleep is also a natural steroid; your body also produces and distributes Human Growth Hormones to repair your body while you’re sleeping. (remember You’re an Athlete Now).
This also means that adequate sleep is critical in helping your body recover from training and repairing itself.
Exposure to artificial light disrupts your circadian rhythms and may keep you from falling asleep. Ensure to turn off the following items at least 30 minutes prior to your bedtime:
- iPhone (especially Seri)
- iPad, etc.
Create your “Zen” environment that is conducive to sleep. Keep your room dark and cooler than 68 degrees. Cover all sources of artificial light in your bedroom, including TV’s, computers, digital clocks and any digital device players.
Having difficulty falling asleep? Try creating a routine that is one hour to one and a half hours before bedtime to help you relax and calm down prior to bedtime. Sometimes taking a warm bath, meditation, breathing exercises, stretching/gentle yoga or simply reading in bed will help you with Mr. Sandman.