I F*ing Hate Sleep

Who needs sleep? I'd rather use my bed for form drills.Oh, I need to sleep nine hours a night for optimal performance? Whatever, dude. I f*ing hate sleep. I love not having enough time in my day for self-care and when my alarm blares in the middle of the one REM cycle I get a night.

I scoff at the reports that women need more sleep than men. What a joke. Ick! I’m practically breaking out in hives thinking about letting my muscles recover underneath my cozy blankets. I’d rather use my more complex brain to scrub the kitchen floor, duh. After my run, of course.

Quit telling me I need more sleep, because, really? Why would I do something I hate this much just to run a little faster?

I envy the women who have to get up extra early to drive to a safe location or meet friends to run safely. If only I had a reason to slash that extra hour of sleep, but, alas, I have a treadmill in the basement.

Fortunately, I am the mother of a toddler. Now that he’s three, he’s starting to literally fall asleep on the job of waking me up several times a night. But I do give him some credit: the wake-ups during his first year were almost enough for a lifetime supply.

Pro-tip! If you also hate sleep, try getting a baby or a puppy. Even cats are fantastic!

Oh yeah. I can also loan you a few worries to help keep sleep at bay: long runs, workout paces, fueling, and more. Have a life outside running? Ward off the ZZZs with deep thoughts about world peace, climate change, and that day job that funds your running habit.

I keep hearing that a runner needs to rest to get faster. But I have to assume that this means one does need to actually run. When life hands me the choice of running at 10:00 p.m. or 5:00 a.m. or not at all, I almost always choose the run. But I could run faster if I just slept more? Weird!

I do want to get faster, though. Really. So I will take the super simple steps of reducing my daily responsibilities and flipping that cute little “off” switch on my brain for a solid eight hours of lame-o sleep. That’s daily total, not weekly. If I make this huge sacrifice, certainly the Nike contract will arrive in my mail post-haste. Then I can finally put a maid, cook, nanny, and personal organizer on my own payroll and sleep for nine, ten, eleven …

Oh. What? Huh?

Sorry. I must have dozed off for a second.

Anyway, everyone just quit with the sweet advice to “just sleep more!” My life is full and, dare I say, #soblessed. Compared to running and all the other things I love, I f*ing hate sleep.

How do you feel about F*ing sleep?

I'm a 20-year veteran of competitive running, USATF certified coach, mom of a toddler -- and still trying to set PRs. I write about training from 5k to marathon, motherhood and competitive running, and the elite side of the sport. The 5k is my favorite race (16:56 PR) but I've got a score to settle with the marathon.

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  1. So maybe more helpful advice than “hey why don’t you just sleep more” would be, like, recovery hacks for when life just doesn’t let you get those nine hours? (I mean, at this point who doesn’t know that sleep is good for you? The reason people don’t sleep more is usually *not* that they don’t know any better…)

    1. Yes, such a good idea!
      Ginger and I had talked about this but one thing that was helpful for me was realizing that waking up in the middle of the night is normal (and was built in to some cultures). That reduced my middle-of-the-night anxiety about not sleeping enough and I got back to sleep more quickly and didn’t stress about it in the morning.

  2. What if we just didn’t sleep at all for 6 days and then one day a week all we did was sleep?! Like the world shuts off and everyone sleeps for 24 hours? Not saying that’s ideal, but sometimes a 24 sleep session sounds great…until I lay down and can’t shut off my brain so it becomes a 24 hour period where I think of a million things I need to do, but can’t motivate myself to get up hahaha

    Just kidding, I fucking love sleep, and naps, and snoozes, and everything where I’m honizontal and checked out 😉

  3. I love this post, and the photo!!!!

    While I do get the good intention behind telling someone maybe try getting more sleep (I’ve definitely been on both ends of that conversation), for many I think it’s just insulting their intelligence. Like Caraway said, might be better worded conversation if there were tips to tricks to work around when you might not be able to get as much. There are some people that really could make a better effort to sleep more (I know for me there were some times I definitely wasn’t as good about it and didn’t have an excuse or good reason), but for many of them I still think they know they need more they just aren’t willing to do it ( by willing I mean specifically those people who truly could- don’t have kiddos, multiple jobs, etc etc.)

  4. Oh! Oh! I know! You could make an entire career out of going around telling people they need more sleep, sell a bunch of sleep aids, and *then* have enough time and money to sleep all you want! (Related: making an entire career out of telling small people how to sleep because your three-year-old slept through the night that one time. Eureka!)

    1. I used to feel like I needed 8+. .Then I survived for over a year averaging maybe 3-5h (baby). Now I’m much more flexible. Different for every person and it can even change!

    1. After almost four years of Insomnia…. and trying to go without sleep drugs several times (including for extended periods during this multi-year episode of insomnia)…. life without ambien is rough.