12/31/07

Getting good sleep!


This last weekend was really relaxing. However, I didn't feel very rested. Fri and saturday night didn't make out for a good nights rest but thank goodness I could lounge around during the day. Sunday morning Karel rode with some of his non-Gearlink cycling buddies and felt strong on the bike. He did 100 miles, starting at the suncoast trail and 54 and rode up to San Antonio and did the sunday morning San Antonio ride as well. What a workout for him and I thought he would be exhausted. I guess his training plan from his coach Adam B. (from the NTC) is working out great cause he said he is feeling really good on his new Cervelo. I had pancakes ready for him when he came home and we spent the rest of the day watching a movie. We watched Crash which was excellent. A great movie to really make you think about how crazy life is sometimes. The movie is so real and features stereotypes and how you can hate one person one minute and honor them the next moment. I really recommend it if you haven't seen it. I also watched Ratatoulii the other night...and as a fanatic cooker, I totally recommend that one! I love animated movies! Sunday evening Karel and I went over to our good friends' condo in Innisbrook. Roberta and Steve were the initial fixer-upers of Karel and I's relationship and they are just great people to be around. Roberta is a crazy strong cyclist and triathlete and Steve rides with Karel and the other Gearlinkers. Just great people. There were 6 of us for dinner and it was so yummy! A special thanks to roberta who cooked a vegetarian plate for me. We told lots of funny stories and it was great to just hang out and socialize. I wasn't too tired when I got home so I watched TV for a bit and ended up falling asleep around 11pm. Yes, that's 11PM! Totally late for me and I knew I was in need of some sleep. I woke up with my internal clock at 5:50am but after getting out of bed I decided that I wasn't ready to get up yet. Back to sleep and before I knew it I heard my cell phone alarm go off. Usually on Mondays I don't set an alarm so that I can actually sleep in (which is normally 6:30am for a sleep-in days). Last night I set an alarm reminder on my phone that I needed to leave at 8:30am to go personal train someone. Well, the alarm was set for 8:15am and that is when I woke up! I can't tell you the last time I slept in that late! I have always mentioned that I am a morning person and I love getting up early. I get up at 4:40am on tues, wed and thurs and never think anything of it. However, I am pretty strict about going to bed when i start to feel tired, which is usually around 9:30pm. Sadly, sometimes Karel beats me to bed if I decide to stay up past 9:30pm. I guess the last two nights kinda caught up to me and I was in need of some good solid sleep. I know sleeping is really important to a healthy body, but for athletes so many good things happen while you are sleeping. You release hormones which help you rebuild and heal and you also control your cortisol levels which help you from overeating. You should get enough sleep to wake up feeling rested. In my opinion there is no set number of required hours of sleep per night but I would recommend around 6-7 hours of continuous sleep. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and try not to eat within 1-2 hours of going to bed. Beyond the claim that eating late will cause you to gain weight (because most people are less active during the late evening hours compared to during the day), it is important to properly digest food by sitting upright, as appose to laying down and having non-digested food sitting in your GI system. It is good to take a nap on the weekends or a little rest for the eyes during the day, but be sure that when you go to sleep at night that you are actually sleeping through the night. The more you wake up during the night, the more you stop your REM cycle which causes you to feel groggy and tired in the morning. So the sleeping thing isn't my expertise in my academic background but hopefully I've expressed how important sleep is to your body. And if you think you need more sleep, skip a workout one morning and give yourself an extra hour or two of rest. Your body will thank you and you will really enjoy having an extra boost of energy during your subsequent workouts.
And speaking of sleep, I'm not much of a late-nighter so I will try my best to stay out until 11pm tonight, in honor of New Year's Eve. Karel and I are heading to a party tonight with all the Gearlinkers which should be a lot of fun. And as usual, the youngest ones at the party (Karel and I) will probably be the first to go. Oh so sad, but at least I can laugh about it :)
Have a happy new year everyone! Be safe, happy and healthy!