Running Exercise and Inability To Sleep

One month after running the 2008 Nairobi marathon I have noticed that in the last month my sleep has been better than the month leading to the marathon. This days I sleep longer unlike the last month leading to the marathon when I used to wake up at a frustrating 4.30 am, two hours early before my desired wake up time.

When I noticed this change in sleep pattern I decided to find an explanation. I found this article at wikipedia on overtraining that states  “Training at a high intensity too frequently also stimulates the central nervous system (CNS) and can result in a hyper-adrenergic state that interferes with sleep patterns.” 

According to that statement too much exercise may cause sleep problem. In the last month I have not been running, this lack of physical activity explains why my sleep is good.

My next marathon will be next year and I plan to crank up my training. I don’t think a runner should cut down on his weekly miles just because he is losing a few hours of sleep. To be a successful runner you need to make lots of sacrifices and that includes missing a few hours of sleep. A runner will get enough sleep after a race and like Benjamin Franklin said “There will be a lot of sleeping in the grave

One thought on “Running Exercise and Inability To Sleep

  1. Wayne

    Hi Constantine. First off, congraulations on the marathon. Terrific! I’ve noticed that my sleep pattern is now back to normal after a 16 hour time difference (both directions). It takes close to a week to get the sleep pattern back afterwards.

    I agree that the same thing happens after a major race as well.


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