Sleep like a Runner

As runners, we spend time on training plans – focusing on building mileage and improving paces. There’s an effort to cross training and do strength work. Some runners embrace their rest days while others begrudgingly recognize their legs need a break. We focus on our nutrition, fueling, and hydration. But there’s one critical aspect that many of us may not be giving enough attention to…sleep!

Lack of proper sleep can really impact your ability to focus, think clearly and your mood — and if you’re an athlete this lack of sleep can have a huge impact on performance and recovery.

During sleep, growth hormones stimulate muscle growth and repair, bone building, metabolism, and help athletes recover. Sleep deprivation slows the release of that hormone, and when growth hormone levels are down, cortisol (stress hormone) levels are on the rise. Too much cortisol in your system can also disrupt your body’s ability to recover properly. Lack of sleep can also impact glycogen storage – clearly a big deal for endurance running.

So I’m teaming up with Casper to provide some tips to help you Sleep like a Runner!

Sleep like a Runner

This last point is a big one for me! Using technology before bed has been linked to an increase in stress. I know personally, it can be hard to turn off my phone or step away from my laptop. If you find yourself tethered to your electronic device, try to power down a little bit earlier each night until you can get to at least 1 hour before bed technology-free.

Sleep is a critical factor to a runner's performance! #SleepLikeARunner Click To Tweet

Disclosure: Thanks to Casper for this graphic. I was not compensated in any way for this post. All opinions expressed here, as always, are my own.

Did you know that this is National Sleep Awareness Week?



  1. I read on my iPad and I always wonder if that counts as technology. I know the artificial light is supposed to mess with my circadian rhythm, but I don’t have any issues falling asleep! Waking up in a pool of sweat–that’s a whole other thing….
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…7 Things More Painful than Running a MarathonMy Profile

  2. I’m not a great sleeper so I’ve been trying to really limit my electronics before bedtime. I’m hoping that helps!
    Kimberly recently posted…Join Me For April RunfessionsMy Profile

  3. I need to limit my phone use before bed. It’s so harddddd.
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…Gift Ideas for Fit MomsMy Profile

  4. I try to stay off my phone at least 30 min before bed. Lately we’ve been watching TV right before bed and it’s not been helping. Books are really the way to go. Like, paper ones… haha!
    Rachel recently posted…April Runfessions: Thoughts on Running and MommingMy Profile

  5. I am really bad about looking at my phone before bedtime. I’ve been having so much trouble sleeping lately. Will try reading a book and see if that helps. Thank you!

  6. UGH…my sleep is definitely lack-luster. I’m going on 5 hours (on the average), and am functioning alright, but know it’s all gonna bite my buttocks some day…..
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Runfessions…My Current RealityMy Profile

  7. Its so hard to limit technology before bed! I go to bed pretty early (like 830) and do most of my blogging after dinner.I do try to give myself at least 20 minutes of screen free time before bed, but Im sure its still not great.

  8. My sleep habits are abysmal. I fall asleep reading on my phone or watching tv.
    Coco recently posted…April Showers, Flowers, And RunfessionsMy Profile

  9. Here I sit on my phone catching up on things right before bed. I know I need to stop this and have been limiting my days online before but I can do better.
    Anna @ Pipers Run recently posted…April RunfessionsMy Profile

  10. I definitely don’t get enough sleep. I’m trying to be better about cutting myself off from technology before heading to bed. Some days I’m better about this than others.
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…Princess Half, Here We Come!My Profile

  11. I’ve been horrible this past week with turning off technology before sleep. I recently set the night shift setting on my iPhone to help with reducing the blue light effect.
    Elaine @myRUNexperiment recently posted…Five Ways I Heat Proof my RunMy Profile

  12. Angela says:

    These tips are great! My goal for the month of May is to get more sleep, as I currently do not get enough and I know it effects my performance.

  13. Thanks for the tips and the reminder. Sleep is one of the worst parts of my training. I know I need to get more and more high quality sleep!
    Sandra recently posted…Style Corner: PACT Organic Clothing ReviewMy Profile

  14. I look at my sleep numbers every day and my goal is 7! I have no problems falling asleep. Sleeping thru my hubby’s snoring is another issue!
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…I am just putzing around! Weekly wrapMy Profile

  15. I definitely need to start getting more sleep. I am sick now because I am so run down.

  16. My body crashes at the end of the day – often while watching TV with mrC! My biggest problem is staying asleep all night. I’m a light sleeper, so everything wakes me up!
    AmyC recently posted…Uncommon Goods for EveryoneMy Profile

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