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Commuting on little sleep

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Commuting on little sleep

Old 09-20-12, 06:10 AM
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Commuting on little sleep

I have occasional and probably too frequent nights where I'm not getting a proper enough amount of sleep... the following mornings have often seen the commute kiboshed in favor of driving or public transport. Usually when I do get out on the bike on those mornings it's not too bad... maybe a slight lag in energy but nothing overwhelming. (My commute is roughly 11 miles one way) The challenge for me is usually just overcoming the grogginess enough to motivate myself to get geared up and out early enough for the commute. Aside from obvious things like getting caffeinated, anyone have tips on overcoming sleep deprivation grogginess for the commute?
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Old 09-20-12, 06:24 AM
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agree. less than 4hr is tough. 4-6hr is normal. 6hr is easy. i find that getting up 30mins easy and making a nice caffe latte really helps. also, also as i start pedaling, the grogginess is gone
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Old 09-20-12, 07:13 AM
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the question should be how are you not getting enough sleep?
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Old 09-20-12, 07:19 AM
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I have found that making the bike commute decision the night before makes a big difference. I have my lunch (and extra snacks) ready in the fridge, most of the stuff I need in my panniers and bike cloths ready to go. I also have everything for my breakfast ready so all I have to do is cook it.

If I decide not to bike commute after all that, there's usually a pretty good reason. My commute is a challenging 18 miles (1 way) about half on gravel. It would be easy to just not feel like it, so the preparation and attitude the night before goes a long way.
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Old 09-20-12, 07:23 AM
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I know this feeling. Honestly? I bought a folding bike, so that I could groggily stumble onto the bus so that I could still ride home.
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Old 09-20-12, 08:19 AM
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I'd rather have you groggy on a bicycle than groggy in a 4000 pound vehicle moving at 50mph.

Plus, I find that my grogginess goes away once I'm pedaling. But really, you should get more sleep.
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Old 09-20-12, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by spivonious
I'd rather have you groggy on a bicycle than groggy in a 4000 pound vehicle moving at 50mph.

Plus, I find that my grogginess goes away once I'm pedaling. But really, you should get more sleep.
This essentially. especially the last sentence. Undersleeping is cumulative. You can, and will, power through it in the beginning stages but eventually there comes a point where you get a bad cold or the flu and have to take a week off... what, you really though you got the bug from a co-worker?

H
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Old 09-20-12, 10:18 AM
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Ride at recovery pace on days when you don't get enough sleep? Recovery rides are good for you. I have the same issue from time to time, but haven't noticed a big effect on my performance on days following nights when I don't get enough sleep. If it went on for days at a time, that might be another issue.
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Old 09-20-12, 10:45 AM
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+1

A warm drink - even just warm water will get you hydrated which will help.

Originally Posted by hyegeek
I have found that making the bike commute decision the night before makes a big difference. I have my lunch (and extra snacks) ready in the fridge, most of the stuff I need in my panniers and bike cloths ready to go. I also have everything for my breakfast ready so all I have to do is cook it.

If I decide not to bike commute after all that, there's usually a pretty good reason. My commute is a challenging 18 miles (1 way) about half on gravel. It would be easy to just not feel like it, so the preparation and attitude the night before goes a long way.
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Old 09-20-12, 11:33 AM
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You need to ride harder so you get more tired and go to sleep earlier. I used to have sleep problems. I would stay up hours past my wife and wake up at the same time. Now I am the one begging her to go to bed so we can get to sleep. I used to contemplate sleeping at 1am to wake up at 6:30am. Now I am in bed around 10pm for the same wake up time.

That has probably been the biggest change I noticed now that I ride a lot.
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Old 09-20-12, 11:59 AM
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I sleep great. The problem is the amount of time I spend sleeping. On my long days I leave the house at 5:00 and don't get home until 7:00. It's a huge reason I don't bicycle every day.
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Old 09-20-12, 02:30 PM
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I have the same exact problem! I work full time and then go to classes until 9. When I get home, it's more school work until I'm too exhausted to go on so I get about 4-6 hours of sleep every night. It's been such a struggle for me to commute by bike the way I was in the summer before classes started.

I agree with hyegeek -- being as prepared as possible the night before helps you get going. Another thing I do is set my alarm on my phone and put it in another room with my packed bags. That way, I actually have to get up to turn it off.

I also set up weird incentives for myself like, if I bike in to work I'm allowed a fancy (and fatty) breakfast sandwich. If I don't, then it's yogurt for breakfast. I don't know if that works for everybody but sometimes food is my best incentive!
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Old 09-20-12, 02:41 PM
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In the hour before going to sleep you should try cutting back on mentally stimulating activities like video games and browsing the internet (particularly news / web discussions that are likely to be rage inducing ... stay out of A&S ). Once my mind gets spinning getting to sleep is a real challenge.
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Old 09-20-12, 04:35 PM
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i know where you're coming from - any suggestions would be welcome here too, as I struggle to go to bed, then struggle to get up and invariably miss breakfast.
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Old 09-20-12, 06:28 PM
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It starts in your head. Just as you don't consider going to work as optional, don't consider biking to work as optional. Its just how you go to work.....period.

As other's have said routine and preperation the night before are key. For me, everything from exactly where my clothes are laid out, and where my bike lights are placed, to the precise spot in the refrigerator that I put my breakfast sandwich, is the same every day. That way, as I go through the first thirty minutes of each morning - from shower to out the door - on autopilot, I still somehow end up on my bike prepared and finally awake with the first pedal revolutions.
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Old 09-20-12, 06:51 PM
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Not getting enough of sleep is causing you to not rest properly. If you continue draining your body through cycling after sleeping poorly, you will damage yourself.

This is from a blog (plenty of them describing the studies): "Lack of sleep looks and acts like intoxication. Fatigue or lack of sleep slow reaction time, make you unsteady on your feet and can affect speech as well as other cranial nerve functions." Basically this says that if you continue to drive without solving your sleeping problems first, the probability that someone else will commute to work on your bike, possibly to the job that you now do, increases.
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Old 09-20-12, 07:31 PM
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I rode into a street light (placed conveniently in the middle of the MUP) going about 7mph once after getting about 3 hours of sleep in college. It bent my fork and pretty much trashed what the bike was worth.
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Old 09-20-12, 08:06 PM
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I need to remind myself how communicating on message boards is somewhat akin to navigating a minefield. I do have occasional nights of too little sleep and by my standards, it happens too frequently. Too frequent for me is about twice a week. That means the rest of the time I get adequate sleep. I don't think this makes me the main character from "The Machinist".

Getting a routine set up so it becomes second nature would certainly help. I don't lay things out the night before... that's something I'll try.
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Old 09-20-12, 08:09 PM
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I could have sworn this thread was titled "Commuting on little sheep"
But I haven't slept that much the past couple weeks either... My insomnia comes and goes.
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