It seems that after exercising, falling asleep couldn’t be easier. However, it can sometimes prove to be more difficult than you could imagine. After intensive workouts or endurance tests, it’s not unusual that post-workout insomnia sets in and prevents you from getting the slumber you desire and need so much. We all need a good night’s rest, but fitness enthusiasts, weightlifters and athletes need it more because sleep is crucial to aid muscle recovery and growth after training. If you have troubles falling asleep after working out, try the following tips and tricks recommended by Counting Sheep Research, and find outhow proper snoozing can improve your performance gains.
Post Exercise Insomnia
After a big race or training session, we can either feel rather tired or sleeplessness can occur. Sleeplessness due to exercising is also known as post-exercise insomnia. However, there are certain ways you can prevent this problem.
Ways to Prevent Post-Exercise Insomnia
Sleeplessness after a day of intensive training can be avoided by working out at least 3 hours before bedtime. Exercising shouldn’t affect your sleep unless the training was very intense. On the contrary, it should positively impact it. However, if your work out was very intense, your body needs some time to recover and stabilize. Your heart rate needs to slow down, and your body temperature needs to decrease. To cool down your body and slow down your pulse, you should drink a lot of water during and after exercise. A hot shower or a nice bath will help you to decrease your body’s temperature and prepare yourself for sleep.
If you tend to consume a lot of caffeine, it is recommended to consume it only before your training session. Lastly, to relax your body and fall asleep faster, it is vital to ensure your sleeping environment is pleasant and comfortable. That means your room should be dark, quiet and reasonably cool.
What Happens with Your Body During Exercise?
A lot of things are going on in your body during training. For example, you may dehydrate from sweating. Energy and caffeine are consumed. Your heart rate and core temperature will increase. Melatonin production will be temporarily suppressed, and your nervous and endocrine systems are stimulated.
All these affect your sleep in multiple ways. For example, it’s not easy to lower your body temperature when you’re dehydrated. Dehydration also increases your heart rate, which will make falling asleep even harder. During intense training, stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine are produced which may make you feel energized and excited even a long time after your training is over. Stress hormones such as cortisol also inhibit the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which further makes falling asleep like a dream that will never come true.
Why is Sleep Important for Muscle Gain
Slumber is vital for muscle gain because this is the time when our muscles recover and grow. The most critical stages of sleep for muscle recovery are stages 3 and 4 also known as deep sleep. During deep sleep, blood pressure drops and your breathing becomes deeper and slower. Blood is sent to muscles, and they receive extra oxygen and nutrients which help them to heal and become stronger. Also, this is the time when the human growth hormones are released which are vital for muscle repair and tissue growth. In order to build muscle, the body needs to produce proteins. Sleep is the best time the body can use absorbed nutrients for protein synthesis, and as a result, muscle tissue is replenished, and new cells are regenerated.
It is very important to understand that implementing a lot of physical activity in your daily schedule requires a lot of sleep. Since physical activity puts stress on the muscles and nervous system, the only way to recover and rebuild them is to rest.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
Ideal sleep time for fitness enthusiasts is 8 to 10 hours. This may seem like a lot, but individuals who have a very active lifestyle need more sleep than someone who is not so active or doesn’t exercise every day. However, sleeping more than 10 hours per night is bad, even for people who undergo intensive training every day. By snoozing more than you may reset your body clock and damage your sleep cycles the next night. On the flip side, sleeping less than recommended will not give your body enough time to recover from the stress of training. Catching those precious ZZZs is particularly essential if you do strength or weight training, endurance tests like marathons or when you train extra harder and longer before an important event such as a race.