Thanks to the rising popularity of 24-hours gyms, many people are now working out late at night. But these late-night workouts can sometimes wreak havoc on our sleeping schedules, too. The rush of adrenaline and endorphins sometimes makes it difficult to fall asleep. But with some minor changes to our workout routine, we can easily get back on track.
How to Prevent Post-Workout Insomnia
Saving the more strenuous workouts of heavy lifting or high intensity training for those days in which a morning or afternoon workout fits comfortably into your schedule can help a great deal. Then use the evening hours for a yoga session, Pilates, or even a brisk walk around the neighborhood. Yoga has proven to be particularly beneficial in reducing stress and improving relaxation. Another option might be to perform your normal routine but at a much lower level of intensity. Here are some additional tips that might help you fall asleep much easier after a late-night workout.
- Try to perform your workout routine at least three to four hours before bedtime.
- While drinking coffee before a workout has been shown to boost your gains in the gym, drinking coffee before an evening workout will likely make it more difficult to fall asleep.
- Stay hydrated during the workout to help counteract the boost in energy levels that usually follows a workout session.
- A hot shower just before bed is a natural method of relaxation that helps the body begin to slow down while also facilitating sleep.
The Negative Effects of Sleep Deprivation
While staying committed to a regular exercise schedule is one simple way to stay on track with our fitness goals, sacrificing sleep for gym time can be counterproductive. Sleep deprivation lowers our immunity systems in much the same was as stress and illness. There are volumes of medical research that link sleep deprivation to any number of chronic ailments, including diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, everyday aches and pains, and even irreversible brain damage.
- Some studies show a direct link between sleep deprivation and a more rapid decline in cognitive reasoning skills, especially in older men.
- Older adults who either sleep longer than eight hours per night or less than six consistently score significantly lower in brain functioning skills
- Those with chronic sleep disorders are at a much higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Both lack of sleep and regular bouts of interrupted sleep can wreak havoc on our emotions and energy levels.