While it\u2019s important to get your miles in when training for a half or full marathon, it\u2019s just as important to take the time to rest and recover. Sleep is essential for restoration of the body: When you\u2019re not getting enough sleep at night, your performance suffers, and your chance of injury and illness increases.\nHere are a few steps you can take to help optimize your sleep to maximize your performance.\nDetermine how much sleep you need\nTo help determine the amount of sleep you need, you must first find out how much sleep you are regularly getting. You can do this by\u00a0tracking the number of hours you sleep at night for two weeks.\nIf you find that you are getting less than seven hours per night, try increasing your nightly sleep by 30-60 minutes for one week. Gauge how you feel after one week of extra sleep and see how your training responds. Continue increasing your sleep duration in small increments until you no longer feel a difference in your regular daytime activities or an impact on your training.\nMost adults require between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, though athletes in heavy training may consistently need eight to 10 hours per night.\nMake your bedroom a sleep sanctuary\nYour bedroom should be cool, dark, quiet, and comfortable. Here are some tips for creating your sleep sanctuary:\n\nSet your thermostat between 65 and 70\u00b0F, and consider using a fan for additional cooling or white noise\nAn eye mask or blackout curtains might help you stay asleep or sleep more deeply by blocking out light\nRemove electronics from your bedroom such as TVs, tablets, phones, and computers, and avoid using them close to bedtime\n\nRestrict caffeine intake after lunchtime\nWhile many runners enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning or before a workout, it\u2019s important to not consume caffeine regularly later in the day. Restricting caffeine can help you prepare for a good night\u2019s sleep.\nEstablish a regular \u2018wind-down\u2019 routine in preparation for bedtime\nA routine tells your body it\u2019s time for bed and helps you prepare for a good night\u2019s sleep. Your routine should be relaxing and may include:\n\nReading a book\nListening to music\nTaking a bath\n\nAs noted before, your wind-down routine may be more effective if it does not include electronics such as TVs, tablets, phones, and computers.\nOptimize your sleep schedule one month before race day\nWith one month to go before race day, runners should work to optimize their sleep routine by establishing and maintaining good sleep habits. If pre-race jitters keep you up the night before the race, you can relax, as this happens to many athletes. One night of restless sleep will not throw off a month of regular rest and recovery.\nGood sleep is accumulated in the weeks leading up to a race, so remember that planning and executing a good sleep strategy is an important part of your overall training plan.