Every fitness enthusiast has his or hers best time of the day to work out. Typically, people work out early in the morning or later in the evening. However, burning calories very close to bedtime may disturb your sleep and prevent you from getting well-deserved rest. Counting Sheep has recently researched some of the best ways to avoid post-workout insomnia.
The Connection between Exercise and Insomnia
Scientific evidence suggests that exercising close to snooze time can keep you awake at night, while other sources claim post-workout insomnia is a myth. So, what’s the truth? Is exercising before bed better for your sleep than not working out at all? Some studies indicate that people who are physically active have better sleep than individuals who don’t exercise at all. So, when you have to work out late, do it, but don’t make it a habit.
When you exercise, your body becomes stressed and warms up. The brain produces endorphins which have a stimulative effect on your entire body. Working out also releases cortisol, also known as the stress hormone that blocks melatonin. Melatonin is a neurotransmitter vital for triggering sleep.
Get into a Routine
If you can’t work out in the morning or earlier in the evening then at least try to schedule your workouts at the same time each night. The human body loves routines, and our biological rhythms quickly become dependent on patterns. So, if you exercise late every night and it in some way becomes a part of your bedtime routine, you will sleep much better than if you work out late occasionally.
As mentioned above, during exercise, your body temperature increases. To meet the Sandman, your body needs to be cool. So, if you work out very close to bedtime, your body needs time to cool down and return to its normal temperature, which may make falling asleep harder.
If you have to work out late, Counting Sheep sleep research guide suggests avoiding cardio because it warms up the body a lot. Weight lifting is okay if you make longer breaks. The least effect will have yoga and stretching. If you are sweating a lot, that is a good indicator of how hot you are. To speed up the cooling process, take a nice shower or a warm bath.
To reduce your cortisol levels, it’s important to give yourself enough time to unwind and relax. According to research, if you are struggling to fall asleep, yoga should help you relax. Meditation or even taking a few deep breaths should help calm the body.
Have a Bedtime Ritual
Every parent is well aware of the importance of a bedtime ritual for children. However, bedtime is also essential for adults. Anything you do habitually before sleep can send a signal to your brain it’s bedtime. Some of the things you can add to your routine is reading a book, massage, meditation, dimming the lights and so on.
Drink a Cup of Tea
You know that drinking coffee in the evening is bad for sleep, but drinking a warm cup of chamomile tea can help you drift off to the dreamland faster. You can also make a sleep smoothie. Good sleep nutrients are vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, so you can make a smoothie by mixing leafy greens, and avocados, or fruits such as cherries and strawberries.