Thank you to Philips Healthcare for sponsoring this post in honor of World Sleep Day on March 14!
Good morning, my friends! This week’s excitement is that I’m gearing up to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA half marathon on Saturday here in DC! Who’s joining me? Even though I just did the LA Marathon on Sunday, I LOVE the DC RnR race – it’s my favorite in DC – so even though I knew my legs would be wiped, I didn’t want to miss out and decided I’d do it anyway. Go big or go home, right?! I love the course and that it goes through all the neighborhoods vs. just down on the mall, and it has great crowd support, too. It’s also massive though, so arrive early and be prepared for lines for bag check and porta potties!
So – what am I doing this week to recover and get ready for my second race in less than a week? Well, in addition to foam rolling, icing, some yoga and light walking, one of the main things I’m focusing on is sleep. Primarily: getting a LOT of it! I notice a huge difference in my energy level on runs if my sleep is lacking, so I’m making sure to get in lots of Zzzzzs this week. I’m sure my body needs the rest to repair my muscles after Sunday’s 26.2 miles, too!
Philips Healthcare reached out to me about doing a post for their Sleep Powers Initiative to help raise awareness on the importance of sleep for World Sleep Day tomorrow, and I was all about it. I know very well the role sleep plays in powering everything we do – whether it’s eating healthy, getting in solid workouts, or focusing at work. It’s something I always emphasize with my AnneTheRD clients and I definitely make sure to take my own advice, too!
Philips is committed to promoting awareness of the benefits of healthy sleep and created a cool sleep quiz (click the link to see it in PDF form!) that you can use to assess your daily routine and sleep habits and see if they have some room for improvement. So, how did I do? Let’s see!
My Sleep Quiz results:
1. I answered “B” – in terms of overall stress, I generally know how to manage it but I feel that’s always something to be improved on and I’m certainly not perfect at it. One thing I’ve been working on lately is actually LESS multitasking – I find it leaves me more scattered and less productive than if I try to focus on one main thing at a time. I’m also a huge proponent of taking a short afternoon break – that’s the time when I find myself to be most stressed and tired, and I find even just a 20 minute breather makes a big difference.
2. Oh, attention span – this is so hard in the age of social media! …Wait, what was I talking about? Just kidding (kind of). I gave myself a “B” for this one, too. One big thing that has helped me is closing out other windows on my computer when I’m working on something so I’m not tempted to look at emails or Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or… anything else while I’m working on something. I also don’t have any notifications on for emails or anything, so nothing will pop up even if I do have windows open. This is huge for me for my phone, too – I turned off all the notifications for social media and email. It’s made a really big difference in stress and attention span to not have my phone constantly flashing at me.
3. Energy level gets an “A”! One interesting thing about energy that I find is that, counter-intuitively, being active gives me MORE energy. If I’m feeling super tired and lazy and I drag myself out for a workout, I end up feeling way more energized afterward. Try it!
4. For hours of sleep, I’m between “A” and “B” – I usually get between 7 and 8 hours. Sleep is SO important for me, as I’ve already said. I find it nearly impossible to eat well (lack of sleep = give me all the sugar) and to focus if I’m tired. I’m often getting up for super early morning workouts, as you know, so I make sure I’m in bed a minimum of 7 hours beforehand.
5. No snoring here! “A”
Results: two As, two Bs, and one A/B – a tie! That puts me between Pro Sleeper and Moderate Sleeper, which makes sense. Check out the quiz to learn more about what that means and how you score!
Once you find out your quiz results, check out this handy infographic with some easy sleep tips to incorporate into your evening routine.
I especially agree with #1 – a routine is so important – and of course #2! I know that one of the big reasons I’m able to fall asleep easily and stay asleep is due to exercise. I notice a BIG difference in how easily I can fall asleep if I haven’t been exercising. Wearing myself out is key. #4 is an important one for me as well – if I have things on my mind I’ll sometimes get up and make a quick to do list for the next day, just so I can mentally relax and not worry about forgetting things. And lastly, #6 made me smile since Matt drinks “Sleepytime” tea all the time at night. I’m not a nighttime tea person but it works for him!
One that I really need to work on, though? #5. I’m often working on my computer right up until bedtime, or on my phone checking emails in bed. So bad, I know, but thankfully I still don’t really have a problem falling asleep immediately. I’ve been trying to get better about taking time to read a “for fun” book again in bed before going to sleep, though, since that always helps me to relax and de-stress. I just need to find a book I’m really into that draws me away from my computer, I guess!
And now – I have a giveaway for you guys! Philips has offered a $100 Visa Gift card for one lucky reader to use towards their health. Here’s how to enter to win:
- Leave a comment with how you would use the $100 towards something that would improve your sleep habits and/or help you towards healthy lifestyle changes.
- For an optional second entry: take the Sleep Quiz and leave an additional comment with how you did, what it helped you to learn about your sleep routine, and what changes you can incorporate into your lifestyle to improve it!
U.S. residents only, please. I’ll draw the winner randomly and email them directly on Monday! Best of luck – and sound sleeping – my friends.