Isn’t it great now the mornings are getting lighter? I’m up at 6am every day with my two sons, Joe and Jonny, and it’s such a mental boost to be getting them up and about in the daylight. It feels like there’s a bit more time to play with, somehow - even though we are all still getting the same amount of sleep. With all that beautiful Dorset light pouring in through the windows, it feels like less of a struggle to get everyone going.
That said, I’ve always been a bit of an obsessive when it comes to my sleep and making sure I get enough. I like to wake up feeling ready for action! Improving on the day’s performance is always at the front of my mind: whether it’s been a day of personal challenges (like a race or a hard session), or working with a client who wants to do better, I always want to nudge things forward a little bit the next day.
I’ve learnt that to do this my body needs to really switch off and repair, to make the most of tomorrow. It’s not just about physical, muscular repair either. Feeling tired is a major problem when it comes to mental attitude, and the way we approach training. I see it time and again with my clients - they all have more desire to train harder if they are feeling more rested.
Many of us are so busy now though, that it’s hard to prioritise sleep. Going to bed, especially if you think you don’t feel that tired, can seem like a waste of precious free time. This is particularly true if you have kids; I know my partner Debs feels like the evenings are the only time she gets to herself. My advice would be to try and give yourself just a couple of early nights each week - switch off the phone, turn off the TV and head up to bed with a cup of chamomile tea (don’t tell the lads) and a good book. You might be surprised at how quickly you doze off, and even more surprised at how great you feel the next day.