If you want to get good sleep after your workouts, this article will show you how to prevent post-workout insomnia.
While it’s true that exercising can help you sleep better, sometimes it leads to insomnia.
Post workout insomnia is a sleep disorder that affects a lot of athletes or fitness lovers who work out or train later in the evening or the night.
Luckily, this is something you can avoid by following the strategies below.
How to Prevent Post-Workout Insomnia
1. Get into a Routine
Set a regular bedtime routine, where you go to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time every day.
It takes your body 21 days to form a habit but it’s possible to fall into a sleep routine after a week.
How the body does this is beyond me but cultivating this habit is a great way to help your body recover from your workouts.
Plus, you’ll stay alert and focused throughout the day.
2. Do Low Impact Exercises
If you suffer from insomnia, it’s best to do high-intensity exercises in the mornings.
If you plan to work out in the evening, then do low impact exercises. Why?
High-intensity exercises put a lot of strain and demand on the body. They also raise your body temperature, which can keep you up all night.
Low impact exercises like yoga, barre, swimming, and walking will give you a good workout without straining your body.
It’s worth noting that high-intensity workouts have many benefits. Just avoid doing them before bedtime.
3. Cool Down after Workouts
When you exercise, your body temperature increases.
Unfortunately, the body temperature is elevated for up to five or six hours after exercise.
This is bad since your body temperature needs to drop for you to fall asleep.
One way you can cool down is by taking a cool shower after exercise, or you can try ice baths if you are brave.
Ice baths will cool you and alleviate inflammation associated with muscle pains and aches.
4. Avoid Caffeinated Drinks
Coffee is a beverage most people tend to consume more than water.
While we can’t dispute the benefits of caffeine in the body and its role in improving exercise performance and weight loss, you should drink it in moderation.
Caffeine is rapidly absorbed into the body and reaches its highest level after 1-2 hours. However, it can interrupt your sleep 6-7 hours after taking it.
Stick to 2-3 cups of coffee per day, preferably before 2 pm.
If you are using supplements with caffeine, you may need to reduce your intake of caffeinated drinks such as diet drinks.
It’s also advisable to replace caffeinated beverages with these clean eating drinks.
5. Sip on Herbal Teas or Drinking Chocolate
It’s night time, you probably did all you can but you find yourself still staring at your ceiling. Why not try some herbal teas.
Herbal teas like chamomile are good for relieving stress and calming your body.
Chamomile is an effective sleep inducer. It contains an antioxidant called Apigenin that helps relieve stress and aids sleep.
Adding mint leaves or peppermint into your water may help you sleep better.
Even Lavender oil placed near your pillow helps in improving sleep quality.
6. Avoid Stress
Stress is the biggest enemy of sleep. When you are stressed, cortisol levels rise and this leads to loss of sleep.
Even worse, sleep deprivation increases your stress levels.
It’s best to avoid stress whenever you can because stressful situations will always be there. Identify what’s causing the stress, acknowledge it and find solutions.
7. Avoid Napping
Naps are a great stress reliever. Most times, they will improve your mood and keep you happy.
Sometimes, a short nap of 10 minutes can improve your brain function and performance.
However, if you suffer from insomnia, its best to limit them so that they don’t interfere with your night sleep.
Individuals vary, there are those who napping may increase their sleep quality but most times it tends to affect the sleep patterns even in those who don’t suffer from insomnia.
8. Reading at Night
Reading a book or a magazine is one way of beating post workout insomnia.
The Sleep Council states that 39% of people who read, sleep very well.
It may seem far-fetched but there is a theory explained by scientists that stated that during reading the eye makes rapid movements from left to right.
As it makes this movement, the eyes rarely blink this creates a strain on the eyes which prompts it to close.
That strain makes the eyes tired, probably why most people fall asleep while reading.
Take 20-30 minutes to read something you love, or try the reading a chapter a day. Some people prefer reading boring stuff in order to fall asleep.
9. Set the Right Environment
The environment is one aspect that cannot be ignored in the effort to prevent post-workout insomnia.
If your bedroom is warm, your body will work overtime to cool your body temperature. This process will cause sleep disruption and keep you awake longer.
According to Sleep Judge, room temperatures should be between 68-72 Fahrenheit degrees, for optimal sleep the temperature should range between 60-65 degrees.
You can invest in a cooling mattress pad to help cool your body temperatures.
10. Exercise Three Hours before Night
Exercise is still needed because it’s one of the best aides for combating insomnia.
In fact, a study in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine showed that exercise improves sleep quality and can assist in dealing with sleep disturbances or disorders.
Avoid exercising later at night if you can, if you must try between 2-5 pm.
If you can’t put in a workout between 2-5 pm because of work schedules or time constraints, do at a later time but ensure its low impact.
11. Limit Your Bedtime Activities
When it’s time to sleep, avoid doing other activities.
Since most of us are notorious for carrying work at home, it’s tempting to feel like taking stock of the day’s activities.
All those things that you were not able to do may be overwhelming but tomorrow is another day. Sleep and probably wake up earlier.
Avoid unnecessary distractions like TVs, radio, and social media sites. Remember to stick to your bedtime routine.
12. Avoid Eating Meals before Bed
Most of us are advised to eat before 7 pm and this is for a good reason. While you are sleeping the body should be not digesting food.
Eating so close to bedtime keeps your digestive system active, which will hamper your sleep patterns.
It can lead to acid reflux conditions like GERD or ulcers and even increase your body temperature.
High carb and sugary foods are the worst since they spike your energy levels and make you hyperactive.
If you’ve been struggling with late-night eating, use these strategies to overcome it.
Don’t skip working out because of post-workout insomnia. Use the tips above to sleep well after working out.
If you’re trying to lose weight, grab the VFX program. This program utilizes unique diet and exercise strategies that skyrocket female metabolism at any age.
Do you know other ways to prevent post-workout insomnia?[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]