The three elements Runner's World outlines for being a strong runner are: good nutrition, regular training, and lots of rest. And if there's any one area I have mastered, it's the rest. It is generally recommended by experts that the average adult needs eight hours of sleep a night, but many conclude that different people need different amounts. I am one of those people who needs lot of sleep. Sometimes, I think I could sleep all day.
To uncover your natural sleep pattern you're supposed to go to bed when you feel sleepy and let yourself sleep until you wake up naturally (best to do so on the weekend when perhaps sleeping until you wake naturally won't interrupt your workday). In this manner, I have discovered that I sleep approximately nine hours on the nose (give or take fifteen to twenty minutes). If I receive any fewer hours, I am groggy, and let's face it, a little mean. I am not a morning person. I don't want to talk with anyone first thing in the morning and I don't want to exert myself in any possible way. I prefer to rise, pee, get a drink of water, turn on the tv and stare at it motionless for a few uninterrupted minutes.
Slowly I'll work into my day and I'll wake up, but it's a long process, and I shouldn't be chatted up by anyone in person or on the phone, which is why it annoys me so much to hear the phone ring first thing in the morning. Especially if it's before nine a.m. Because I will assume someone is dead or bleeding to death. So if I jump out of bed, run across the room, and pick up that phone early in the morning, I better hear that tragedy has befallen someone near and dear. In college, my roommate's mother once called early on a Saturday morning and when she asked if my roommate was up yet I replied nastily, "Well, I guess she is now."
I'm not nice.
Anyway, aside from night sleep, I also like to sneak in an afternoon nap when time allows for it. There's no sleep better than an afternoon nap on a comfy couch with a fuzzy blanket and a cool breeze (preferrably from a fan, none of that natural shit, I like the steady hum of machinery at work). It's best to take a nap after you've been lying on the couch reading and you can feel your eyelids getting heavy and you just fold into it -- ahh, so luxorious.
So, if there's one area of health I excel in, it's rest. I am plenty rested.