Alaska Sleep Clinic is honored to be featured in a blog article written by Champneys, the UK's original health resort. Champneys reached out to ASC to find out how important sleep is to a marathon runner's physical and mental recovery after an event. In Alaska, we have our Mountain Marathoners who can benefit from the blog's suggestions, too.
The 7 golden rules for marathon recovery | Champneys: Rule No.4 is all about sleep.
Getting a good night’s sleep is always the dream for a runner, but many of you may find it difficult to nod off due to stiffness and pain. The importance of sleeping is vital as your body builds and repairs muscle while you sleep.
To help you we’ve spoken to some top sleep experts for tips on runners getting to sleep as well as the importance of a good night’s sleep following a marathon.
Jennifer Hines from the Alaska Sleep Clinic tells us a bit about how sleep can affect performance: “The quality and amount of sleep athletes get is often the key to winning. REM sleep provides energy to both the brain and body. If sleep is cut short, the body doesn’t have time to repair memory, consolidate memory, and release hormones.
“Some research suggests that sleep deprivation increases levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Sleep deprivation has also been seen to decrease the production of glycogen and carbohydrates that are stored for energy use during physical activity. In short, less sleep increases the possibility of fatigue, low energy, and poor focus at game time. It may also slow recovery post-game.”
Sleep tips for runners to follow post-marathon
Jennifer Hines from Alaska Sleep Clinic recommends cooling your sleeping environment, “Both core and skin temperatures decline when you fall asleep, and a cool sleeping environment helps create a temperature gradient that facilitates this process. Everyone is a bit different, but optimal room temperatures for promoting restful sleep are typically in the 60-70-degree Fahrenheit range.”
The importance of sleep following a marathon
Sleep and exercise should go hand-in-hand as a good night’s sleep should be held as a high priority for maintaining quality performance and/or good health.
Jennifer Hines, adds, “The reason sleep is so helpful during the recovery process comes down to growth hormones and blood flow. Growth hormones evidently stimulate growth, while aiding cell reproduction, cell regeneration and regulation of your body’s metabolism to literally repair you while you snooze.
“When asleep, your general energy consumption is lowered as, most of the time, your body and brain is at rest. This means more energy can be used to restore your bones and muscles, both through an increase in growth hormone production and by an increase in blood flow to the area in need. For example, in deep sleep, around 40% of the usual blood flow to the brain is sent instead to the muscles to help restore energy. The hormone Prolactin is also released during deep sleep, which has anti-inflammatory properties to help further recover any achy joints.”
For Champneys' entire article about marathon recovery, click here.
To improve your sleep and your life, contact Alaska Sleep Clinic today!
Learn more about Alaska's Mountain Marathon Runners, CLICK HERE for the full calendar list of events in 2019.