While this book is not technically about running, I’ve wanted to highlight this book for a while. It didn’t take long to convince me, but this book really emphasized my dedication in getting high quality sleep and I’ve seen the effects on my daily energy, ability to face the ups and downs of life and capacity to recover from training. With the time change and darker days, now feels like a good time to talk about sleep, its importance, and how to optimize for it.
Grounded in scientific research, this book will get you to nerd out about sleep. It describes the sleep cycles and gets you to understand the role that each phase has. It also presents key data on the importance of sleep for both physical and mental health as well as daily productivity, general mood and well being. It also emphasizes the cost (both monetary and humanitarian) of a sleep deprived society.
I found the sections on the variables that affect sleep quality (caffeine, alcohol, light, electronics, …) to be very actionable and have noticed their effect on my own sleep patterns. It has personally given me the motivation to have better sleep hygiene and create a “sleep routine” that helps me wind down before going to bed and that I try to observe most nights.
Stressing out about sleep and how it impacts your performance and recovery is counter productive so I also embrace the fact that some days won’t get the best sleep and that it’s okay!