To Sleep, Perchance To Dream

I got nine hours of sleep last night. Aaaahhhhh…it felt so good to get up this morning!

I am one of those folks who really needs 7–8 hours of sleep on a regular basis, and I’ve found that after a big, hard effort, I need tons of sleep to recover.

There was a fascinating article on September 13 in the New York Times called “Sleep After Hard Workouts? You Must Be Dreaming” by Gina Kolata. Kolata does a series called “Personal Best” that runs every two weeks and covers exercise science. In this piece, she’s writing about the paradox that mild exercise energizes you, yet endurance stuff makes you sleepy.

Deena Kastor sleeps 10 hours a night AND takes a 2-hour nap each day. They don’t have sleep studies on endurance training and sleep needs because runners are more of a “curiosity” rather than a practical application of sleep science. In a side article, “Accepting Insomnia, Not Defeat,”Kolata says that the old “it’s two nights before the marathon that counts” as far as sleeping is concerned is an old wives’ tale and not backed up by any actual research data.

This Tuesday, the NYT science section was all about sleep. Sleep and disease, sleep habits, you name it. Turns out, I’m being healthy with my need for 7–8 hours a night.

So today, I had my first workout back after Palo Duro Canyon 50K.

Rest, a lot of sleep, a cool and beautiful morning…my easy 3 miles flew by.

What a joy!

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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

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