Something has shifted recently in my thinking with regards to sleep. Whereas before, I used to see it as a chore, always feeling guilty that I never got enough, I’ve now started to see it as a luxury. I’ve reframed sleep in my mind as “superpower time” when stress hormones are low and your body is in this awesome self-healing state. And so now, rest and recovery is a priority for me- after all, running long distances isn’t the norm, even if it feels that way, and your body needs to recover!
So here are the changes I’ve been making to make sleep a priority:
Moving my long run to Saturday morning
I prefer to get my long run out of the way at the weekend, so it doesn’t hang over me the entire time. But an additional (and very welcome) benefit is that I have extra time to recover over the weekend, as opposed to having to get back to the grind straight away. Plus, Saturday afternoons can then be spent napping and watching Netflix, guilt-free, which is an ideal state of affairs.
Getting rid of electronics
I’m one of those people who will get an early night and snuggle up in bed, only to then spend an hour watching Snapchats and catching up on my Instagram feed. This is just a ridiculous waste of time, and undermines all the work I put into my training- if I’m not prepared to get a good night’s sleep, it’s self-defeating. Now I try to put my phone on airplane mode and get off my laptop at around 10pm, so my brain can wind down.
Setting the tone for relaxation
Putting on candles and some relaxing music really helps my brain relax. Although I don’t actually like relaxation music, it seems to gradually work its magic on me, and my body starts to feel more at ease. I’ve always loved candles as a special treat, and at the moment I’m burning a soy candle that I picked up at Greenwich Market when shopping with my mum.
Reading a good book always helps to put me to sleep, as I think it forces me to shut down my over-active brain and focus on a singular thing. My most recent read has been End of the World Running Club– it’s quite an interesting premise, but I’m not so keen on how it’s written. But still, it’s helping me to doze off!
Not focusing on the clock
Once my electronics get turned off at 10pm, I try not to focus on the time. Otherwise, I’d be stressing that I’ll only get x hours of sleep, which isn’t very helpful. I’m pretty sure I’ve actually been putting my book down and closing my eyes at around the same time as before, but I’m much more relaxed, and fall asleep more quickly now.
So there you have it!
What are your tips for getting a decent night’s sleep?
Lots of love,