How to Leverage Sleep for Better Performance, with Ryan Wooderson, DPT, OCS

Sleep is a performance multiplier – something that has outsized, numerous benefits to you as an athlete with little or no drawbacks. It aids recovery, mood, adaptation to stress, and so much more.

Ryan Wooderson

Understanding the importance of sleep is the first step. We have to acknowledge it as imperative and prioritize it rather than seeing how little we can get by on.

Of course, many of us have lives that aren’t conducive to getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep nightly. For some it may come down to circumstance of our families or jobs, while for others it’s a series of choices that keep them from getting the rest that they need.

In either case, you will benefit from understanding how sleep works, which cycles are most restorative, and what you can do even when you didn’t get a good night of sleep.

There are no “hacks” to sleep, but the better we understand how it works, the more we can do to optimize it for ourselves.

Ryan Wooderson’s Real Talk on Sleep

Ryan Wooderson owns Long Run Physiotherapy & Performance in Denver, Colorado and has spent nearly a decade helping athletes get healthy and stay healthy. He has a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Regis University and completed his orthopedic residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He’s an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and his practice focuses on injury prevention and helping athletes perform.

Ryan is also a father and has a realistic view on the demands of family life. As a runner himself, he knows what the balancing act looks like and is here to give approachable advice to our community.

We start off with a reality check of how harmful poor sleep can be. You may have everything else set up properly in your training, but without the key recovery, your running will suffer:

In this episode, we explore further details about:

  • Variability in perceived exertion during workouts
  • Prioritizing restorative work in the morning hours
  • Improving the quality of your sleep with environmental factors
  • How to do naps the right way

Anyone can benefit from better sleep and I hope this episode will provide you with ideas on how to do just that.

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Thank You InsideTracker!


Our show is supported by our longtime sponsor InsideTracker. Today, more than ever, it’s essential that we’re making the right decisions to keep our bodies healthy. To help us be resilient, prevent over-training, and optimize our running to get the most from it.

InsideTracker is the ultra-personalized nutrition platform that analyzes your blood and DNA biomarkers along with your lifestyle habits to help you optimize your body and reach your goals.

InsideTracker’s patented system will transform your body’s data into knowledge, insights, and a customized action plan of science-backed recommendations. The data can help you determine whether you’re running too much, not enough, or have some other issues that could be affecting your recovery or performance.

I’ve had my own blood drawn with InsideTracker several times and have been amazed at the valuable information that they provide. Not only are the results very detailed, but they also share guidance for how to improve any markers that are out of range.

If you’re ready to take control of your health and optimize your training, InsideTracker offers a selection of plans that best suit your needs with a limited time 25% discount.

Thank You PATH Projects!

PATH Projects continues to be a great supporter of this podcast! I’m grateful for their partnership and want to share more about their products that I’ve been loving because they so durable and comfortable.

PATH Projects is an online-only retailer of high-quality running gear and apparel. That means there is no retail markup, making their products quite affordable.

In particular, I’ve just started wearing their 3” Sykes shorts and they’re a little different from the 5” Sykes shorts (you can see those in action here). The material is thinner and lighter, which is perfect in a performance short, and they’re obviously shorter. I’m not sure if my wife thinks they’re too scandalous or loves them, but I’m wearing them constantly.

PATH uses new technical fabrics, like the Japanese fiber called Toray Primeflex, to create award-winning apparel for endurance athletes. In fact, their Brim shorts and Tahoe base liner won Runner’s World’s 2018 Gear of the Year award. And the Pyrinees hoodie was named one of the best six sweatshirts for running in the cold by Gear Patrol.

You know you’ll be wearing the best when you select PATH Projects!

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