A blog by runners. For runners.

Can’t sleep? Try these tips to rest well, train better


Sleep is something we can never seem to get enough of these days. Busy schedules, pressure to accomplish a variety of tasks, and trying to fit in workouts can make it difficult to fall asleep at night. However, sleep is vital in order to perform well in our lives and on race day. In fact, not getting enough sleep can negatively affect your training and put you at greater risk for injury and overtraining.

Here are some tips to help you wind down for the night:

  • Turn off electronics at least one hour before going to bed: From your phone to your iPad, there are a plethora of devices demanding your attention throughout the day. But to properly wind down, you need to unplug. Finish up all text messages, emails, and social media at least one hour before bed to ensure your body recognizes it’s time to sleep.
  • Drink a cup of chamomile tea or a warm glass of milk: Studies show drinking a warm glass of milk or tea can help you fall asleep. Prepare yourself a cup about an hour before bed to relax.
  • Listen to instrumental music: Choose simple melodic tunes that incorporate your taste. Listening anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes will help you rest.
  • Perform light stretching: Do a few basic stretches, such as knees to chest, knee rotations, gluteus stretching, and child’s pose to relax your mind and body. Hold the stretches for about 30 seconds to one minute and perform three on each side. The whole routine should take about 10 minutes.
  • Practice visualization: Some people enjoy picturing a sandy white beach: Others choose to think about finishing a race well. Whatever it is, think of something that makes you happy for about 10 to 15 minutes before bed or until you drift off.
  • Don’t work out too

Getting enough sleep will help you be more productive in your every day life and more successful on the road. As we say at my house, sleep well!

Related: Ten steps for race day success | Do I need to see a doctor?