What time of the day do you prefer to train? Though most people train early in the morning, some prefer training in the evening due to time limitations. Working out is crucial for your health since it makes you physically fit and prevents your body from illnesses. Though we all know this fact, the right timing of conducting exercises is debatable among many.
Researchers reveal that exercising improves the quality of your sleep. Though this is true for most people, some experience post-workout insomnia from practicing in the evening. Experts advise us not to exercise some few hours before sleeping since it can cause insomnia. It is, therefore, safe to say that post-workout insomnia is not a myth. We will give more evidence to support this claim and advise you on how you can prevent the condition. Read on!
Why do some people experience post-workout insomnia?
Though exercise can boost the quality of your sleep, you may struggle to fall asleep after an evening workout. This is what is called post-workout insomnia. It does not affect everybody since it depends on the intensity of your workout. Over practicing is the most common cause of the condition.
When you train too hard in the evening, you raise the levels of cortisol and adrenaline in the body. Increased levels of these hormones can make it difficult for you to sleep. Over-exercising near your sleep time can affect the quality of your sleep. Incorrect exercises may also cause sleep problems when done at night.
Too much practice in the evening causes the breakdown of tissues and inflammation. Your body, therefore, struggles to repair damaged tissue and heal fast. It increases the chances of suffering from an injury. You must, therefore, give your body sufficient time to recover before proceeding for your next session.
Conducting intense endurance exercises before sleeping elevates the stress hormones which expose your heart to illnesses and impair your overall health. The stress hormones can raise your heart rate and increase the circulation of blood to the body muscles. It increases alertness at night making it difficult for you to catch any sleep.
The cortisol levels in the body have a significant effect on your sleep-wake cycles. It is not healthy if the body produces it at the wrong time. In normal circumstances, these levels should be high in the morning. They should continue decreasing throughout the day and remain low during bedtime so that you can fall asleep.
Overtraining at night raises the cortisol level before bedtime and interfere with the normal cycle. It does this by hindering the generation of the sleep hormone, melatonin. The sleep hormone not only helps you fall asleep but it also facilitates recovery and fat loss. Most gyms have bright lights which hinder the production of melatonin, making it difficult to fall asleep.
Apart from that, the intense practice can also make your immune system weak, exposing one to heart diseases such as cardiac arrest. Do evening workouts with moderation and pay attention to your body is responding to practice to avoid such severe cases.
How can you prevent post-workout insomnia?
Since we are different, some people sleep well even after an evening workout. Others experience post-workout insomnia. If you are a victim, use the following tactics to benefit from the practice and still boost the quality of your sleep.
Adjust your routine
You should choose your workouts carefully to avoid overtraining before bedtime. Select an evening workout that does not make you strain a lot. Save high -intensity workouts such as interval training for an afternoon session. In the evening, you can conduct easy training sessions such as Pilates, yoga or even walking.
Restorative yoga has benefits such as lowering the stress hormone and relaxing your body so that you sleep well. Reduce the intensity of the particular workout you prefer to conduct at night to prevent delayed sleep and allow your body to function effectively. You should also ensure that you work out early enough before sleeping. For instance, you can practice at least four hours before sleeping.
Avoid the use of stimulants
Taking coffee before working out can increase your energy and alertness for you to push your body hard and boost fitness gains. The stimulant, however, is unhealthy for an evening workout because it interferes with your sleep pattern and makes you stay alert even after your practice is over.
If you have to train at night, take water instead of coffee to remain hydrated and help your body cells to function well. Water can also help in the regulation of cortisol levels in the body so that you don’t struggle to sleep. You can also take a sleep smoothie or chamomile tea to increase drowsiness at night.
Exercise raises your body temperature and causes sweating. After practice, the body strives to lower the temperature to normal levels which make falling asleep a bit hard. Your body produces heat according to the duration and intensity of your evening workout. You should look for ways to help your body cool down such as taking a hot bath before sleeping.
Also, try to cool the sleeping environment. The room temperature affects how you sleep at night. Set the thermostat to operate between 60-70 degrees Celsius to help you sleep well. You should also get a mattress that can regulate temperature to increase comfort in bed. Read Simba mattress review to choose one that fulfills this need.
Use a bedtime ritual
Bedtime rituals should not be limited to children alone. The brain of an adult craves routine just like the brain of a child. Conduct a systematic practice that allows your mind to realize when it is time to sleep so that you can overcome post-workout insomnia.
It could be meditation, reading a book or even a self-massage. This also facilitates the healing process of sore muscles. You should also ensure that you don’t work out in a brightly lit room since the light hinders melatonin production. Use blue light blocking glasses to reduce the effects of intense light.