QUESTION: How much does sleep affect my ability to ride and recover? I have a busy schedule and rarely get more than 6 hours a night. Do I need more? — Sarah M.
RBR ANSWER: Different people need different amounts of sleep in order to recover from the routine activities of daily life. If you’re also training or even riding recreationally, you’ll almost certainly need to sleep more.
A good rule of thumb: Try for 8-9 hours a night if you’re riding around 150 miles per week.
Of course, some people do just fine on as few as 5 hours per night. They wake up even without an alarm. But if you make your bed in the morning and long to crawl back into it, then feel sleepy during the day and lack enthusiasm for training (not to mention work and daily chores), you definitely aren’t sleeping enough.
If you can’t extend your nightly time in bed, try for a short nap in the afternoon. Not possible? Then you may have to cut down on your riding. If you don’t, you’ll soon fall victim to stalled progress, or worse.