For any athlete trying to reach his or her absolute limits, sleep is not a luxury or an afterthought. It’s a necessity, and every bit as important as the training itself.
That doesn’t mean it always comes easy. Despite our best intentions and hefty training loads, many of us — probably more than you’d guess — have a hard time getting the shut-eye we know we need. Some lie awake for hours before they’re able to doze off. Others toss and turn all night long, stringing together only short segments of real sleep. And another group consistently wakes up too early, sometimes closer to their bedtimes than their morning alarms.