Sleep and cycling performance

Standard theory states we need at east 8 hours of sleep a night in order to feel refreshed and ready to face a new day . However surveys have shown that a large majority of us survive on much less that 8 hours. How much do you get a night?


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For endurance athletes it is crucial to get enough good quality rest to counter balance the strain put on the body by the high volume of training. Sleep give not only our bodies well needed rest but also our minds.

As a result professional cyclists usually have the luxury of being able to factor in afternoon naps into their days to help them get the rest they need and will often sleep for much more than 8 hours a night.

Unfortunately amateur riders often struggle to get enough rest as they try to balance increase training workloads with work commitments family and social activities. Getting more sleep will help your body recover from hard rides quicker enabling you to get the most benefit from your training and help avoid over training.

Signs you may not be getting enough sleep

  • You’re unable to wake up in a reasonable time without an alarm being set
  • Once the alarm goes you hit snooze way too many times
  • At the weekends you sleep in much longer than your usual get up time
  • You constantly feel tired and irritable during the day

Ok so you think you might not be getting enough sleep, what can you do about it? Below are some simple ideas that should be easy to implement that should to help you get not just more sleep, but better quality sleep.

Simple ways to ensure you sleep better

  • Establish a routine. Try and go to be and get up at the same time each day. Our bodies love routine.
  • Watch less TV. Try only sitting down to watch programs you really want to see, not just channel surfing.
  • Don’t eat within 2 hours of going to bed to help you get to sleep earlier
  • Eat the right foods to ensure no sugar rushes. See  our nutrition tips.
  • Spend 10 minutes doing some light stretching and slow breathing before bed
  • De-clutter your bedroom and remove the TV/Radio from the room (Bed is for sleeping not watching TV!)
  • Ensure you bedroom is dark by using blackout curtains
  • Buy a good quality mattress – you do spend 1/3 of your life on it!
  • Avoid exercise within 4 hours of bed time

It is well worth assessing your current sleep regime and seeing if you are falling short of your bodies requirements. Try getting more sleep every night for a month and see what an impact it can have on your cycling performances.

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Century Training For Beginners — century training, endurance cycling tips and articles Bicycle Century Training
February 22, 2011 at 11:54 am

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