Sleep Essentials for Running Performance

Good sleep health is important for everyday physical and psychological health and wellbeing as well as running performance.

In this episode learn about why we need to sleep and discover the health and performance consequences of inappropriate sleep length and quality.

We also delve into and discuss specific foods and nutrients known to either help or hinder deep sleep.  



Learn about WHY we sleep and find out the definition of Good Sleep Health.


Discover the importance of sleep for physiological and psychological health and wellbeing.


Learn about the health and running performance consequences of poor sleep health.


Exploring the Female Factors linked to sleep. Do females get enough sleep?


Is the cumulative amount of sleep you get over a day as important as a long period of sleep? Listen in to discover if a cat nap during the day could be beneficial to health. 


Moving on to discuss the interconnections between sleep and nutrition. The negative impact of caffeine and alcohol.


Discussing key aspects of food and nutrition to support good sleep highlighting specific macronutrients and micronutrients including: protein, carbohydrate, B vitamins and magnesium.


Discover the primary negative effects of poor sleep health on running performance with a focus on poor sleep’s impact on recovery.


Dr. Jim Horne, a leading expert in sleep science in the UK suggests women need more sleep than men, this is because women tend to multi-task and use more of their actual brain than men leading to a greater need for sleep. Essentially, the more you use your brain during the day, the more it needs to rest while asleep. Mind you, this would not be in every case!!

Horne also proposed that although women required more sleep (generally) they were not getting it due to disturbed sleep in pregnancy, menopausal symptoms (night sweats), worry, and partners snoring!


  • Sleep is important for everyday health as well as running performance
  • Poor sleep can affect recovery from training and blunt training adaptations
  • Carbohydrate and protein rich foods consumed early evening may support sleep
  • Quick release CHO and protein for dairy products have been shown to be most beneficial, but remember to keep your choices healthy
  • Any food consumed in the evening, make sure it is eaten at least 1hr before bed
  • Remember eating too much too late can have adverse effects on sleep
  • Kiwi fruit and tart cherries, as well as Mg and B vitamins are important for serotonin and melatonin production.
  • Try and ensure you get approx. 8hrs sleep per night CONSISTENTLY

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The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. If this is your first visit to She Runs Eats Performs please check out our short Welcome Trailer.

We’d love you to join us on She Eats Runs Performs, please tell all your running friends that the show is available to listen to for free.

Our final message is don’t let nutrition be the limiting factor in your running performance so please join us on She Eats Runs Performs, and let us know if there are any topics you’d like us to cover.

Happy Running!

Aileen and Karen xx