Sleeping the night before the race

by Victor
(Mexico City)

What is the importance of sleeping before a marathon race ?

"I´m training for the Chicago Marathon in October (first timer), my prior experience was half marathon in January in Houston. I usually sleep very well but the night before that race I was so anxious that barely sleep.Would you recommend to take like Tylenol PM or similar to get enough hours of sleep before my next challenge? Or is there any nutrition supplement to avoid taking medicine?

Thanks in advance, Victor"

Answer : Thanks for the question. Not sleeping alot the night before a competition is usually not a problem at all.

Usually you have a post-proned effect when you get little sleep. The day thereafter you can perform really well, but two days after the performance can be influenced. So I would say that the most important day to sleep before a race is two days before, not the night before.

But what if you don't sleep well two nights before ?

Well, then you should try to get in bed early the night before and really get a good night sleep. It can "save" the situation. And if that does not work, here is another experience : if you are in peak shape you can go several nights with less sleep than normal and still perform excellent. So no need to worry really ;)

I would not take any medications before a race. It can influence the muscular tone and make you perform sub-par. Even over-the counter medications - it is wise to stay away from.

I wish you all the best,


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