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  • Writer's pictureSophie Bostock, PhD

How to sleep the night before the London marathon

Worried that you won't sleep the night before a sporting event?

I was chuffed to be invited to The Excel in London yesterday to share tips with London Marathon runners. It was lovely to see fellow British Heart Foundation support squad member, Professor Greg Whyte, and the team at the BHF stand!

From a sleep perspective, you'll see a few tips in the bullets below. Yes, it's absolutely true that in the weeks leading up to a big sporting event you'd ideally be banking extra sleep - but we're running out of time :)

You may find there is way too much adrenaline in your system to be trying to sleep for longer before Sunday.. I'd suggest sticking to your normal routines as much as possible.

It's true that sleep debt can cause problems for endurance runners.. for example by interfering with temperature regulation, promoting inflammation, increasing the rate of perceived exertion and derailing emotional balance and decision making BUT at this point, the best thing is not to worry about it too much!

The hard work is done, and you will find that staying positive on the day, channelling nerves into excitement and as Greg advised, just putting one foot in front of the other... will carry you through.

In particular, good luck to Professor Sanjay Sinha who is not only running, but also leading a team at the University of Cambridge developing the 'Healing Heart Patch' using stem cells to regenerate heart tissue. The BHF is the charity partner for the London Marathon this year, and sponsorship raised will go towards progressing this cutting edge medicine.

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