As the days get shorter and shorter, darkness takes up an ever larger part of what we call "daytime".
In winter, many people are familiar with this: it's dark when you get up and also when you come home in the evening. The time when it's light is usually spent at work and you don't get much out of it.
It should be easy to get enough and good sleep during these times of the year, because according to various advices and studies, darkness is an important component of good sleep. But... why do I sleep so badly?
Actually, I have done so for quite a while. As a child, I often couldn't fall asleep because I was afraid of waking up again. Today, I often fall asleep quickly, but then wake up again in the middle of the night and lie in the dark for a long time without being able to drift off again. The result: when I finally get up, I'm more tired than the night before, rest is something else.
OK, now you could simply quote the vernacular and throw around things like "sleep is overrated" and "you can sleep when you're dead", but seriously, there's no need to mention that this is nonsense and anything but cool, is there?
Especially in sport, sleep is one of the most important things when it comes to recovery. Good, sufficient sleep helps with regeneration even at the cellular level. A lack of sleep can lead to concentration problems, cardiac arrhythmia and high blood pressure. Of course, there are medications for all of this and it is not always clear and obvious where such problems come from, but sleep is an issue that should definitely be addressed as an athlete.
Another issue is the immune system. This simply shuts down when you don't sleep enough and makes you more susceptible to illness, colds and injuries. Cortisol levels rise, so does inflammation in the body, and recovery is once again a thing in itself.
A few days ago I wrote here that I usually get a little sick once a year, and I wasn't spared this time either. But everything had started so well? I got up three or four days in a row at 5 in the morning, sat on the bike at 6, was in the office at 8 or in the lab at 10, had a good and punctual lunch, then gave myself a second training session, worked in the office again...
...only unfortunately, and I have to be honest with myself about this, I missed going to bed early. And so, from the first day on, there was actually a steadily accumulating lack of sleep, which eventually threw me off track. I can only say one thing about that: it's my own fault. As the saying goes: sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.
Well, I have learned and am starting my project "Sleep 2.0". Or something alon these lines. My main concern is the following: I know that sleep is one of my weak points, but at the same time I know that I can solve this problem. So I am now trying to find out how to do that.
And in this spirit: good night!