28 Apr '14, 3pm

How Do Morning Workouts Affect Sleep?

The white bars are overnight sleep; the black bars are workouts (usually twice a day); and the grey bars are afternoon naps. What jumps out, not surprisingly, is that the swimmers got less sleep when they had early workouts -- way less sleep, in fact. The numbers are pretty stark: they spent 7.7 hours in bed before training days, and 9.3 hours in bed before rest days. But that's not the whole story: according to their sleep monitors, they actually only slept for 5.4 hours before training days, compared to 7.1 hours before rest days. That's because they took longer to get to sleep on those nights (41 minutes versus 32 minutes), and spent more time awake in bed. That's at least in part because they were making an effort to get to bed earlier before training days, which makes it harder to get to sleep. It may also have to do with anxiety and stress about the upcoming workouts.

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