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Hi, I'm Whitney! I am a middle of the pack runner who discovered the fun of triathlons in 2009. Join me in my adventures in life and training. I run with the Rush Running team and enjoy the fun that comes with such a supportive group of friends who understand what running means to me. I'm newly discovering road biking and the fun that it entails.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Performance Sleeping

As athletes we sometimes forget that there is more to training than simply running or swimming in practice to prepare for a race.  The things that we do in our everyday life matter just as much such as staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep.  Disclosure: The following post is about recent purchases that I have made.  I have not been compensated for this post.  All opinions are my own based on my own purchase of these items with my own money.

A while ago I learned of a performance bedding product called Sheex through advertisements in several triathlon magazines.  Mirinda Carfrae is a sponsored Sheex athlete and one of my favorite pros to watch. I shared my recap of Rinny's Twitter Party for Sheex in this post from November 2011.  Her connection to the product peaked my interest and made me look into it.  The concept is simple - it is a sheet set that is inspired by the performance fabrics used in athletic clothes to offer temperature regulation and ventilation to improve sleep quality.  I was very interested but then I saw the price tag for the sheet sets.  I'm choosy about how I spend my money and the high price tag of these sheets threw me for a loop.
Fast forward to a few months, and I was shopping at Walmart when I saw an endcap fixture of Breathe Performance Sheets.  They had a fabric sample and I felt the sheets and knew I had to buy some.  They were about 1/3rd the price of the Sheex brand and offered many of the same features.

1) Temperature Control - more effective than regular sheets at regulating body temperature.
2) Moisture Wicking - it's just like performance fabric we wear!
3) Breathability - breathes 50% better than cotton sheets.
4) Precision Fit - the fitted sheet really stays put.
5) Ultra Softness - soft and smooth to the touch.
6) Durability - resists fading, shrinking, and wrinkling.

Sheex and Breathe have partnered with the Sleep Foundation to offer some tips for athletes on having a sleep fitness plan.  Check the list and see how well you are doing at being a performance sleeper!

Sleep Fitness Plan Tips:
Exercise Daily
Set a sleep schedule
Make time for sleep
Wind down before bedtime
Get exposure to morning sun
Make your bedroom a sanctuary
Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet

We need good quality sleep in order for our bodies to repair and rebuild and I have noticed a huge improvement in my sleep since starting to use the Breathe sheets.  I fall asleep quickly and sleep soundly throughout the night.  The sheets are the softest sheets I have ever slept on and every night when I climb into bed it feels heavenly.  The only unique thing to manage with these sheets is the care process.  Since these are a performance fabric, you need to make sure that you do not use any fabric softeners with them.  I simply remind myself to remove the Downy bar from the dryer before drying them and then I'm good to go.
Dreamfinity Cooling Gel and Memory Foam Pillow
In addition to adding new sheets to the bed I have also changed out my pillow.  I picked up a new pillow at Sam's Club like this one here that is a memory foam pillow with a layer of cooling gel on it.  The gel layer keeps you cool and is supposed to improve your sleep as well.  I can definitely feel a temperature difference when I lay down on this pillow.  It feels great and has become my favorite pillow of the many that I have on the bed.  I have been using memory foam pillows for a while but this one just feels so much better.

My sleep plan helps me complete my training since it helps me perform better both physically and mentally.  When I am well rested, I react and respond to things better which means I'm less likely to skip workouts or fall victim to overeating sugary sweets to handle stress.  For less than $100, I've been able to upgrade my bedroom and improve my sleep quality. If you have a few extra dollars to invest in your sleep, I would check for these products in your area.

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