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Getting Enough Sleep, Especially When I’m Busy

January 7, 2012

I have a pretty consistent sleep routine. In bed between midnight and 1 am. Up between 7 and 8 am. Aim for 8 hours of sleep a night, but settle for 7. So last night around 12:15, I was just crawling into bed around 12:15. Right on schedule. And I went to set my alarm for the morning. I have an important deadline coming up middle of next week, and another the week after. So I’m in crunch mode for work right now. Maybe I’ll set my alarm for 7:30? I could use the extra time to work, right?

Wrong. I wake up before 8 when I have to for meetings and such. But otherwise I try to have a consistent wakeup time at 8. So last night I set my alarm for 8, and gave myself almost a full 8 hours of sleep. Sure, that extra 30 minutes of work time would have been nice. But at what cost? When I’m sleeping enough, my body feels so much better. I recover from workouts, I feel fresh, I have energy throughout the day.

But it’s not only about energy to workout. I’m also focused and alert when I sit down to work. Most of my friends might not need the sleep for workouts, but workouts aside, I still think I don’t “lose” hours to getting enough sleep. I didn’t “lose” that 30 minutes last night. In the short run, today, it might not have impacted my productivity that much to get 30 minutes less sleep last night. But in the long run, all of those 30 minutes would impact my productivity. In the long run, I am just so much more focused and productive that it more than makes up for any “lost” time to sleep.

So even, or especially, when I’m busy and in crunch mode, I make a point of trying to get enough sleep. And sure, if I have a deadline the next day, I might get less than 7 hours of sleep sometimes. I’ve had a few nights of 5 hours of sleep in recent memory. But when my deadline is still several days away, I can’t afford to let a sleep deficit build. Especially when I’m also recovering from being sick (which, by the way, as of today resting heart rate is back to normal, and almost no sore throat or stuffy nose anymore — so definitely doing an easy workout later today). I try to get enough sleep even when I’m not specifically training for a big event. But I especially try when I am training for a big event.

316 days till Ironman Arizona.

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From → life, rest days

One Comment
  1. I’m the same way with sleep (except I’m skewed much earlier!) It’s when a sleep deficit builds that I notice huge differences in performance, mood, etc.

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