Sleep and Recovery

Massage Lorne & Massage Anglesea - Tired Rest Stop Being a keen cyclist myself, I know how important recovery & sleep for my body is to repair.

But how much sleep do we need.??

Most us lead busy lives, it’s important to think less about fitting training around work, and more about fitting life around recovery.

If you have a busy life and are sleep deprived, then do less training.
Form a training plan that fits in with your life, rather than one that fits with dates on the calendar.

What are the signs you are not rested

  • Lethargic in attitude and body
  • Insomnia and or restlessness
  • Run down or depressed
  • More than average anxiety
  • Indecisive, irritable
  • Lack of concentration on simple tasks
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Getting sick, colds, flu etc.

Most people need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night, according to David Geier, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist.
"If you’re an athlete in training, you may need more. Just as athletes need more calories than most people when they’re in training, they need more sleep too" Geier says.
You’re pushing your body in practice, so you need more time to recover.

Rob Hayles is a three-time Olympic medalist and one of the most experienced and well respected riders in British cycling.
Hayles is a perfect example of using adequate sleep to aid recovery.
“Sleep is definitely the main thing in recovery,” he says.
Hayles admits to often sleeping well over 12 hours a night.
Getting enough sleep requires a basic element of time management which, as Hayles reports, “is the key to effective training and recovery”.

For many cyclists who lead busy lives, it’s important to think less about fitting training around work, and more about fitting life around recovery.
If you have a busy life, do less training if you have to to get more sleep.
Form a training plan that fits in with your life, rather than one that fits with dates on the calendar.

Sleep Deprivation

"If you are sleep deprived for a week, averaging less than 4-to-5 hours, sleeping in on a Saturday for 9-to-10 hours can go a long way to getting your baseline of 8-to-9 hours back on track. But to return to normal, you really need two good nights of sleep.” Armstrong adds.

There are numerous studies that indicate that a lack of sleep negatively impacts athletic performance.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Science the lack of sleep increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and decreases the level of the recovery as well as the amount of growth hormone in your body.

Tips to Sleep

  • Get on a regular schedule. Arrive early at your ride or race destination. Get up and go to bed at the same time you always do.
  • Don’t do sleep drugs, unless prescribed by a doctor. Over the counter sleep medications disturb the quality of your sleep and can make you feel lethargic the next day.
  • Reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption — not likely for cyclists but advisable.
  • Employ natural relaxation techniques before bed to help you fall asleep. Deep breathing is one way to relax along with yoga.

Cycling calms anxiety, and anxiety is a symptom that you may not be sleeping enough in the first place. The relationship to cycling and anxiety is the positive effect that cycling has on serotonin, which occurs naturally with cycling, and promotes healthy sleep.

So it’s a no-brainer. Get on your bike, keep riding and sleep better. See you in the morning.

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