The most recent was a particularly good one. Sleep affects all kinds of things, from our weight to our moods to our blood pressure. It gives our body a chance to heal and restore.
I've been a night owl for years. I'd developed my own little system--stay up late reading, watching television, cleaning house, browsing blogs and interesting websites, or writing. I went to bed late (always well after midnight) and got up early every morning (6 a.m.) because no matter how late I stayed up, I still had to get my children up and ready for school. I'd go this way for a week or two, until I hit a wall.
I always hit a wall, eventually, and when I did, I spent a day being pretty useless. Tired, I'd recline for a little power nap and several hours later, I'd finally come back to life.
When I decided to do this half marathon, I decided that I needed more sleep. I'm no longer in my teens or twenties (or even thirties) and I knew my body needed more sleep if I was going to be able to do this. Several things I'd read on running stressed the importance of recovery after workouts and I knew I needed to give my body every advantage I could since it's already working with several disadvantages (age, knees, extra pounds, frizzy hair, etc.).
I've tried hard over the past nine months or so to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. I know that isn't perfect, but it sure beats the 4 1/2 to 5 I was getting before. It has made a big difference and even though I'm still struggling to beat years-long bad habits, I've made improvements.
Until the last few days. The last four or five days, I've fallen off the sleep wagon. I blame all the reading I'm trying to do (and Stephanie Black's Rearview Mirror didn't help), but the last few days my sleep has been back to between 4 and 5 hours and my energy during my workouts has reflected it. So has my productivity during the day and so have my moods.
So today I recommit to being in bed between 10 and 11 p.m. No more reading until 2 a.m. No more getting involved in a movie that won't end until 1 a.m. No more late-night news and from now on Psych will be recorded for viewing the next day. (Who decided 11 p.m. was a good time to air a new episode of a series anyway?)
Why don't you join me and let's start a whole club of well-rested people. And if you see me on Words With Friends after 11 p.m., just pretend you're my mom and tell me it's past time for bed.