Running, What I Mean When I Say

“I Can’t, I Have To Sleep”

I won’t lie, this is probably the lamest thing I say when people ask to hang out past, I don’t know, seven p.m? Or before 10 a.m. No, I don’t wake up that late. I’m just making sure I get my early workout in.

Today’s little post is going to be about sleep and working out. And why the two dominate my entire existence.

Photo by Ivan Obolensky on

First of all, I yawned when I saw this picture so that establishes my current state. Second, we all know how important getting some z’s is. We realize that we need to rest and recuperate. Our brain needs time to sort out all the information, keep track of the body, and make sure everything is in working order. It also is the time our body does the most repairs.

It also impacts mood. You don’t sleep well or enough, you’ll see it reflected in your mood.

But getting the correct amount of sleep cycles for you and your state of being (sleep deprived, sick, sore, on your period, etc) is hard to figure out.

Typically, people have a 90 minute sleep cycle. But that doesn’t hold true for everyone. There’s also the whole, get 8 hours of sleep deal. Which, if you’re going by the 90-minute sleep cycle, lands you right in the middle of a sleep cycle.

What does that mean?

It’ll suck to wake up.

You’ve heard about getting enough sleep, but have you heard about timing your sleep according to you? Because I didn’t until recently.

There’s a lot that goes into it. First, how long does it take you to fall asleep? Because if you’re trying to hit a certain amount of time but it takes you the average fifteen minutes to fall asleep you can’t go to bed at the exact time that will get you that sleep. So give yourself time to fall asleep!

How about your personal sleep rhythms?

Here’s a great thing to try, but you must not be sleep deprived. It’ll throw it off. On a day where you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn or to meet any commitments, go to bed early and wake up whenever you first feel like you’re waking up. No rolling over. No just going back to sleep. Look at the clock. How long did you sleep?

You should naturally wake up five minutes before your alarm.

Your alarm shouldn’t be jolting you awake. That’s why it’s important to figure out how much you need as a baseline. I generally need about five cycles, which comes out to roughly 7.5 hours of sleep. But on days where I’ve worked out or just feel tired, I need six. So just under nine, for me.

Photo by Kristin Vogt on

The problem is, committing to that after a long day means that I don’t have time to stay up late and chat or hang out. On night’s where I do need that extra sleep cycle and do have to wake up for a workout, there’s no way I can stay up. Most of the time, 10 p.m is my bed time. I’m all curled up by then under the sheets.

So when I say I can’t hang out in the morning or night, it’s because sleep is a priority and so is my workout.

That brings us to our second point, working out.

As previously mentioned, the time that isn’t occupied by sleeping is often occupied by working out. I cross-train a lot and while my job is writing, my other job is Aikido. Just like I want it. Except that martial arts are tough on your body so it’s important to cross-train. Aside from that, I love working out and it’s a priority in my life. It keeps me happy.

I like working to better myself.

But that takes time, commitment, and a time commitment.

You won’t be your best by doing a quick twenty minute workout every few days. I want to be strong, capable, and meet my own expectations. Which means that a lot of my day is taken up with my various activities. Unfortunately, that means that I have no real social life.

Photo by Juliana Arceo on

The two feed off each other. You want to better yourself so you spend loads of time and effort exercising and eating right. You’re burning loads of calories, consuming just as many but you’re putting your body through a lot of physical work and stress. To prevent injury, enhance your workouts, and continue on with the mindset of bettering yourself, you bump sleep up as a top priority.

Between the workouts and sleep, you’ve effectively killed your social life.

Which is fine, it’s a choice. What isn’t a choice is having to explain at every step of the way that you’re happy, you’re healthy, and you do want to hang out with people. It’ll just take some time to navigate scheduling.

My point?

Be nice and be respectful when people don’t go out late to eat or party. Or if they seemingly rarely have time to hangout. If you put the ball in their court or even offer to try a workout with them, you might be able to spend more time with them in the long run.

It’s hard to effectively balance everything. If you’re the friend of family member of an athlete or someone who just loves the gym, take it easy on them. I promise you they want to hangout with you. I promise you they’re also suffering from decision fatigue quite often.

Offer reasonable times and places. Healthy options, workouts, or just chilling on a couch or great, in my opinion. You don’t have to deadlift with us, just invite us on a hike to somewhere fun!

And be patient with us. Rest and recovery is so important to us not just because we really need our beauty sleep but because injury can quickly rack up if you’re not prioritizing those z’s. It isn’t easy to always turn down friends, coworkers, and family. So do be patient and keep inviting us places.

4 thoughts on ““I Can’t, I Have To Sleep””

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