Sleeping is Dangerous!

Is everyone back to their normal routine yet? I feel like the holidays came and went without me even realizing it. New Year’s Eve wasn’t even “New Year’s Eve” to me, it was “Anna’s Wedding Day”. The midnight countdown and celebratory champagne toasts were just a little something extra.

What better way to celebrate New Year's Eve than with 150 of your closest friends and family?!

There was dancing. Lots of dancing. Does that count as a workout?

I vote yes.

Before I made it back to the East Coast, I made sure to eat lots of homemade chicken noodle soup…

My Mom certainly knows the way to my heart!

…and help take down our Christmas tree.

Yes, this is a corn ornament. I'm from Iowa, what did you expect?

So now, it’s back to my normal, everyday life.

Today was an “on” day for running; I’ve been hitting the pavement every other day. After warming-up I did some biking, chest and shoulder lifts, and some RUNNING! Woo hoo! I love my running days even though every session begins with anxiety and ends in lots of questions about my progress.

Today consisted of a walk/jog/run sequence: 2 minutes walking, 2 minutes jogging, and 1 minute of picking up the pace to an almost-sprint.

I did this 5 minute sequence 3 times before I felt the sore-ness in my hamstring. Maybe sprinting wasn’t such a good idea.  BUT I JUST WANT TO RUN FAST!

I posed a twitter question to Run Blog Run asking if it was normal for my hamstring to be a little sore when coming back from injury, or if sore = not healed = STOP. Here’s what they said:

That's what I wanted to hear!

So I guess that’s good, right?

I’ve also been wondering if the position I sleep in is the culprit for my less-than-stellar injury healing process.  Ms. Physical Therapist told me that my SI joint/sacrum was tilted and that my hips are not in a great position for running. I did some Googling about sleeping and matresses (I sleep on my stomach and the mattress rolls inward toward the center…plus it’s small for two people – I live with the BF and I sort of roll toward him unevenly while sleeping).

This website says:

“Lying on your stomach increases the curve of the lower back, leads to shortening of the muscles in your lower back and encourages sway back. If you absolutely must sleep on your stomach, place a pillow under your hips to help support the lower back. However, sleeping on the stomach also can strain the neck and is generally not advisable.”

This website also weighs in:

“Neck and back pain can develop simply by sleeping in a position that is not optimal for spinal alignment. Certain sleeping positions can place a great deal of pressure on your nervous system and strain in your muscles.”

Since all of those important running muscles in the leg and back are connected somehow through different joints and such, I’m thinking that maybe the fact that I’m sleeping out of alignment is mis-aligning my hips, pulling on my SI joint, which pulls on my hamstring, which pulls on my knee, etc etc.

With that being said…next up on my agenda: get a body pillow, and convince the BF to get a new mattress in order to possibly commence my full-on running ASAP. The only issue is that I’m certain a) nothing bigger will fit and b) we are broke. Hmph.

Did you have a good New Year? Are you back to your daily routine? Do you think sleeping in weird positions affects your running? Let me know!

I’m a writer currently living in New Jersey and blogging about running, fitness, wellness, and motivation. I want every reader to laugh and feel empowered, balanced, and motivated! Subscribe by email to get 1-2 newsletters a month with post updates, my favorite articles, running playlists and more!


  1. January 4, 2012 / 11:58 pm

    What a sweet wedding picture!!! I had a great New Year, and I’ll back to work and whatnot. I once sat crosslegged on my leg for about 8 hours (while working on my master’s portfolio) and couldn’t walk normally for almost 2 weeks!!!! It was crazy. I was quite so into running back then or I would’ve been devastated!

    • January 5, 2012 / 11:19 am

      Isn’t it awesome!? They gave everyone a sparkler and we lit them as the couple walked down the steps to their little trolley :)

      I remember being at my old job and sitting on the computer ALL.DAY. and my neck and back being so sore from sitting in such an awkward position. It’s crazy how your body tries to tell you “don’t do this to me” haha!

  2. January 5, 2012 / 7:14 pm

    Yay for some running, in whatever amount. I totally get the fear of every run and hoping it doesn’t hurt you.

    Yes, I do think that sometimes our mattresses and sleeping habits can make an injury more angry. And I would suggest trying to sleep another way besides your stomach–I gave that up years ago and it cured back issues for me, fyi. It’s not easy, but you can do it!

    • January 5, 2012 / 7:26 pm

      I’m definitely going to work on it! Do you think sleeping on your back is best? Or side? I will try anything!

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