As a runner, if nothing else, you’re probably a creature of habit. You know the days of the week, based on what your run is. At least I know I do. When it’s coming up, oh, it’s Tuesday. It’s a long run. Oh, Wednesday, it’s got to be Wednesday, there’s tempo today. I know exactly what day it is, depending on what workout that I am doing, and you are probably the same. But that all being said, maybe you don’t have the perfect bedtime routine together yet. I’m going to share with you my perfect bedtime routine I do pretty much every night to make sure I sleep really well.
Since you’re here with me to share my bedtime routine, I hope that means we can be friends, you’ll stick around longer, and hit that subscribe button so you don’t miss more episodes of Runner’s High. It comes out every Tuesday and Thursday, each and every week. Now, when I’m talking about my bedtime routine, I’m talking about the things I do to make sure that I sleep well.
Because as I can’t stress enough on this channel, getting plenty of rest is important to make sure you are the best runner you can be. If you don’t recover, then you’re not going to get better. You’re going to end up in overtraining, overuse. And then you gotta take time off because you’ve become injured. So, sleep is paramount to getting better as a runner and staying healthy.
That all being said, It’s easiest when you put a routine in place so you don’t have to think about it. The biggest challenge for me in getting sleep has been getting my mind to relax. I had many, many issues with sleeping in college, partially from loud dorms, partially from just the strain of training. And then the challenge of going to class, doing all of these things very, very mentally tasking.
So, you want to put a routine in place so that you kind of get in the habit, your body moves through the motions and gets to a place where it’s like, yeah, it’s bedtime, and you relax and nod off. Not everybody has the ability to do this. So, once you’ve established your routine, it makes it easier. So, here’s what I do before I go to bed to make sure I sleep really well.
Number one, and this is really a pre-bedtime routine, but shower. You gotta make sure you’re clean. I know, I know, you may be a nighttime shower person, you may be a morning shower person, it doesn’t really matter which way you go, afternoon, whatever it is, you just want to make sure that you’re clean. Because if you’re still sweaty and sticky, you’re not going to be comfortable in bed. I know I’m not. It’s simply a matter of you got to make sure you’re clean before you go to bed.
This is pre-bedtime, any of that. On top of that, if you don’t shower or if you go to bed, you know, uncleanly not -- Well, I don’t want to say dirty because that’s a whole other conversation. But if you don’t take care of yourself, you don’t have good hygiene, you can end up with bad things like jock itch and that kind of stuff, athlete’s foot, that’s what we deal with here at Solpri. So, if you want to prevent those, shower, you can use something like our bar soap, that’s our best selling product, Solpri.com/shop, you can check that out there. And if you already have it, we have products to deal with that as well.
In any case, the whole point, besides not having jock itch, is that you want to feel comfortable. You want to feel relaxed in bed because I know, at least for me, when I’m going to sleep, my mind starts to pick up any kind of extra sensory information that’s weird or off or uncomfortable. So, you want to make sure that you’ve got all the sticky gunk from working out off from the day, and you’re clean before bed.
Now, here’s where things are going to vary depending on your life, but have routine for all the things you need to prep for the next day. Plug in your phone, get your food ready, if you’re going to put out clothes for the morning if you’re one of those 05:00 AM runners, do all of that. Don’t worry about it for the next day. Have it all set and ready to go because again, we’re trying to get our mind to quiet down.
So, when you’ve checked off all the boxes, you’ve done all the things, then you can say, I don’t have to worry about tomorrow because I’ve already taken care of all of it. I can wake up and just go. It’s all about putting your mind at ease. Because when your mind is relaxed, then it can go off to sleep and repair things. So, that’s a big thing. Get whatever you need to prep out of the way. And that’s one step towards moving to the place where you can go to sleep.
Now, here’s where I’m very, very adamant about this. And I don’t see a lot of other people recommend this, but I talk about it from time to time and that is massage or rollout. Now I’ve got a variety of massage tools. I’ve got my stick, I’ve got this cane thing, and of course, my foam roller. This is by a company called Rollga.
They make foam rollers that have these notches in them, so you don’t compress your back. Guys from Rollga, I’d love to partner with you, or maybe even buy the company eventually because they make such a great product. I don’t like to talk about other company’s products very often. But their product is very unique and great, at least for me. Because I find when I make sure, especially my back is rolled out, I can relax.
Again, try to make sure you’re relaxed, your mind’s relaxed, your body’s relaxed, all of those things. But rolling out right before bedtime and I mean, literally right before I get into bed, has been a game-changer for getting to sleep. It is just a night and day difference for me when I do that. So, I make sure that I do that on a pretty consistent basis.
There are nights when I miss it and then I know I don’t sleep as well. I get lazy, you know. Have you ever gotten lazy? I know it happens to me. But when I do it, and I make sure I’m consistent with it, I always sleep better. It’s such a nice thing. If you have any kind of massage tool, use that. If you’ve got just a foam roller, you’ve got just a stick, I have an accumulation of things over the years, and they stick around.
So, it depends on what my issues are, what needs rolled out, what needs massage, but that is a huge key for me, I don’t see recommended enough is such a big point to relax. So, try to incorporate it in your routine. Let me know down in the comments below, did it help you? Did it hurt? You know, this is my experience. But I want to know, am I alone in this? Am I the only one who finds this a great way to relax right before bed?
But that’s not all. I got one last thing I do before I nod off to go to sleep. The last thing that actually happens pre and post-massage is to chill out. Again, all these things are designed to help your mind relax. And chilling out is going to be a variety of things for you. Don’t be like me, like I was last night and I worked too late.
And then my mind was thinking about work and developing new products and stuff all while I was dreaming and I woke up early, which is why I’m a little tired right now as I’m shooting this. I did not stick to my routine and it cost me. It cost me sleep. I woke up probably two hours early and got started with my day early. And I’m going to be pretty darn tired by the end of the day because I didn’t stick to my routine.
So, you got to chill out, you got to be disciplined in doing that. Obviously, I didn’t follow that this time and it hurt. But I am pretty consistent with it. And know that we are all people, you’re going to miss sometimes. And that’s okay. Get back on the bandwagon, get back on your routine, you’ll self-correct, it’ll be fine. So, for me, chilling out is a little bit of watching TV with my family, and then often, I play video games for a little while.
Currently, I’ve been playing through the Witcher Three. I’m in post-game, so, if you play the Witcher, leave me a comment below. Hello, fellow gamer, I’m glad to see you are a runner as well. If you don’t, that’s perfectly fine. But it’s a very story-driven game. So, it’s something for me to engage in, engage my mind in to get it off of all of the other stressful things of the day.
And then the last thing I do is read a book. Sometimes I’m going to be browsing the internet, things like Reddit and forums. It is not typically recommended that you use screens before bedtime. But I haven’t personally found that it bothers me. I have a blue light filter on my screen.
But in any case, whatever you need to do to chill out, which is engage your mind in something that’s relaxing, that’s maybe entertainment, that’s going to be low key, do that before bed to kind of complete all of the routine so that you’re ready to go to sleep. And once you do that, and you establish this routine, it’ll become almost a trigger where you go through it and you’re like, oh, I’m asleep. It’s morning now. I don’t know how I fell asleep. It’s this nice just way to nod off. You can become one of those weird people that somehow just gets in bed and goes to sleep.
So, what’s your routine? What things do you do that I haven’t mentioned that you think is worth mentioning? Leave them in the comments below. Let us all know what we should add to our routines to help get a better night’s sleep. I’ll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.