How to Deal with Post Workout Insomnia?

What is post exercise Insomnia?

Burning calories before going to sleep will help in providing a peaceful sleep. However, many athletes often face difficulties sleeping if their workout time is close to their sleep time. If you work out regularly and have experienced lying awake in your bed tossing and turning and unable to sleep despite a tough workout, the reason might be the inadequate time gap between your workout and bedtime. 

Researchers believe that post exercise insomnia happens because of a number of reasons. This includes the fact that since your energy levels increase post workout, if there is not enough gap between your exercise session and your sleep time you may end up staying awake. Exercise increases heart rate, the temperature of your core and the rate at which your body sweats. It also excites your nervous system. The longer and tougher the workout, the longer this state of excitement will last. Working out will also increase the release of two hormones: cortisol and norepinephrine, both of which will disturb your sleep if their level becomes too high.

Best Ways to Avoid It

There are a number of measures you can take to prevent post exercise insomnia:

   1. Stay Hydrated 

Keeping yourself hydrated during and after workout will help in reducing core temperature and therefore facilitate you in getting good sleep. Dehydration will also lead to an elevated heart rate and you would be able to hear your heartbeat when you are lying down on your bed. To avoid this, improve your hydration by drinking water and other healthy drinks.

   2. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake

High levels of caffeine can also keep you from sleeping. This does not mean that you should stop drinking your favorite coffee; but you should make sure that you do not have any high caffeine drink before going to bed and that you do not take too much caffeine throughout the day either.

   3. Cool Down

We have already explained how a tough workout will keep you excited for hours. One thing you can do to speed up the cooling process is to take a bath after workout. This will not only bring down your body temperature but also have a soothing effect on you. Depending on the weather, you can enjoy a cold or a hot shower after exercising or before going to bed.

   4. Use Weighted Blankets

Weighted blankets work on the principle of deep touch stimulation therapy; they are known to speed up post workout recovery and provide your muscles with deep massage. You can choose the one that is best according to your weight.

What Happens to Your Body During Exercise?

1. When you work out, every inch of your body from your internal organs to your skin respond to exercise the moment you begin.

    2. Your body starts burning carbs, which are a source of energy during workout.
    This burning will increase your body temperature. This will be followed right away with an increase in heart rate.

    3. Your heart will start pumping more blood, improving circulation throughout your body, resulting in improved brain function immediately .

    4. Your body will start releasing endorphins which are chemicals that interact with your brain through receptors and result in reducing the brain’s perception of pain.

      5. Your muscles will break down to form bigger stronger muscles. The building up of better and stronger muscles will require post workout recovery which can be hastened by the intake of proper nutrients, peaceful sleep and massage therapy.

          How Does Exercise Affect Your Sleep?

          1. Working out regularly will improve both your mental as well as physical health in the long run.

          2. Research organizations such as John Hopkins have conducted numerous research programs in order to explain the relation between exercise and sleep.

          3. It is a widely accepted fact that working out improves the quality of your sleep.
          That being said, it is very important to remember that this is partially dependent on the type and timing of your workout.

          4. Exercise and sleep work both ways. A good night’s sleep is very important for post workout recovery which would in turn help you exercise more.

            What Happens During Deep Sleep?

            1. While sleeping you go through various stages. During the deep sleep cycle your body slows down and so do your brain waves.

            2. Deep sleep is needed to wake up fresh in the morning. While in this phase, your brain’s glucose metabolism increases.

            3.The release of human growth hormone also increases during deep sleep.
            Other benefits include improvement in memory, learning ability, blood circulation and strong immunity.

              Ideal Sleep Time for Fitness 

              1. Adults should get at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Athletes or people who work out regularly need more sleep than others. It is recommended that athletes should get at least 8-10 hours of sleep.

              2. Deep sleep only makes up around 13-23 % of your total sleep. That means that you can benefit from deep sleep only if you get the needed amount of total sleep.

                When Post Workout Sleep is Mostly Recommended?

                All types of workouts or physical exertion requires that you get proper sleep at the right time and for the right duration. But workouts which are tougher than others or those that target your entire body have a higher requirement of sleep and that too at the right time. For instance, body balance training aims at working all the muscles of your body and exerts pressure on all your joints.

                Benefits of Post Workout Sleep:

                1. Improves Muscle Recovery: Sleeping after workouts and using weighted blankets will speed up muscle recovery.

                2. Reduces Fatigue: Using strength training products can increase muscle soreness which could be reduced by post workout sleep/nap.                                   
                3. Reduces Stress: Getting a relaxed sleep after a tough workout can contribute to bringing down your stress levels.

                4. Increased Brain Activity: Post workout sleep also helps the release of hormones that would improve memory and other brain activities.

                5. Improved Workout  Performance: Faster muscle recovery through post exercise sleep will keep you fit and lead you to a better athletic performance.