Effects of Sleep on Running Performance
It is not a hidden fact that in order to be fully energized during the day, you need to have a lot of hours sleeping at night. Nothing zaps your energy out faster than be short of sleep and do a very daunting and physically challenging task the next day. If you are fond of running, whether you are a seasoned athlete, or just wanting to get fit, you need to get the right amount of sleep in order to push your body to the limit should there be a need to.
To further validate the connection, the scientific community has released a journal indicating that the amount of sleep will largely affect the glucose metabolism of the body. If an individual is sleep deprived or just plainly lack sleep several days leading to a race, his glucose metabolism would be impaired. This would result to lower energy production by the body leading to increased fatigue in the body. When this happens, the body will release the hormone cortisol, which would address the issue of stress in the body further degrading the performance level of the athlete.
Not only will lack of sleep interfere with the “fuel situation” of the body, it will also affect other bodily factors like immune system functions, the ability to concentrate and make decisions, as well as endocrine glands functions.
After running, the amount and the quality of sleep that you get will largely determine the extent of tissue repair in your body. It is a given fact that muscle recovery happens faster during sleep. If you do not have enough sleep, then the muscles tears and injuries you got during the run will heal slower leading to decreased level of performance on the succeeding days.
It is important to remember however, that the amount of sleep needed will greatly vary from people to people. Factors like conditioning and physical as well as training state will play a major role. Long distance runners will need more than 10hrs of sleep in order to finish the race, while those who are just recreational runners may need a shorter amount of sleep.
So how in the world will you know you have enough sleep and just how much sleep do you need in order to achieve a peak performance? The answer is easier than you think. You can make a calendar of your sleeping habit and performance level and observe the pattern as you go along. Record the time you go to bed at night and the time you wake up the next morning. Then during running, make a record on your performance like how fast did you get winded, at what pace, and how far were you able to run. After a few days, you will see a pattern with relation to how much you sleep and how well you perform the next day.
Work on this record and adjust accordingly. Identify your strong points and try to build a program or a schedule along that line. This will give you an idea on the optimum amount of sleep that you need in order to maximize your running potential during the day. Build your program from these facts and improve on your way up.
On the other side of the coin, running is also beneficial and is a big factor on the amount and quality of sleep a person gets. Records show that running normally results to physical exhaustion thereby leading to seek more sleeping time. This just shows that both running and sleeping are intertwined when it comes to both quality of sleep and quality of performance one gets.