Sleep off the stress

Why is sleep important?

Sleep is hugely important when it comes to recovery and overall health and wellbeing. Running and sleep go hand in hand, especially if you are running a few times a week. Lots of people want to find the best way to recover after running. Getting a good night’s sleep of at least 8 hours will help your body recover ready for your next run. Another benefit of sleep is that it improves your mood and stress levels.


Use your breathing

Sleep is really important when it comes to recovery. A great running recovery tip is to use your breathing to put you to sleep.

Put one hand on your chest and one on your belly. Follow your breath without trying to control it while silently repeating the words “in” and “out”.

Gently prolong the exhalation and allow the inhalation to take care of itself. This will help to deepen and slow down your breath, which activates the vagus nerve which controls the relaxation response.


Top tips to improve your sleep

Meditation – Lots of people find mediation to be great for getting better sleep and as a running recovery tip. There are lots of guided meditations you can follow online if you want to try it out.

Limit alcohol and coffee – This one is a bit more obvious but still important. If you are looking for the best way to recover after running and to improve your sleeping pattern, consider cutting down on alcohol and caffeine.

Minimise screen time – Light from phones, computes and TVs contains something called blue light. This can affect our sleeping pattern so it’s a good idea to switch of all electric devices an hour before you go to bed. At the very least, turn on a blue light filter on your mobile device.


If you are interested in finding out more about running recovery tips, visit our tips and advice page. If you would like to get involved with one of our local running groups, then search for a running group near you.

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