Both exercise and sleep are vital components of a healthy lifestyle, and one cannot be effective without the other.
If you exercise without sufficient sleep, you will not have the energy reserves to sustain you during your workout. You also run the risk of incurring an injury. By omitting exercise from your routine, you are not maintaining or improving the strength of your muscles, bones, and joints, which may lead to health concerns later.
During exercise, your body is, essentially, broken down. Muscles and bones are stressed and sustain small tears. Your core temperature increases as fluid levels drop. Your body burns energy reserves, and your heart pumps harder to deliver oxygenated blood to the areas it’s needed.
For your body to repair the damage sustained during training, studies show that a good night’s sleep is necessary.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when preparing for sleep post-workout.
Have a protein-rich snack before your workout and a meal after your workout. Protein is an essential building block for muscle, bone, and tissue repair. It will also keep you satiated for longer, so you are not likely to wake up during the night. The key to eating for sleep is to stop eating at least two hours before sleep as the digestive process may disrupt your rest.
Sleep on the right bed. If you’re prone to joint pain after your workout, then a memory foam mattress would be a suitable option as it shapes to your body and relieves pressure. According to the sleep health and sleep tech review website eachnight, if you suffer from allergies or sensitive skin, then a latex mattress would be a great option because it is naturally hypoallergenic, as well as dust and mold resistant. Being well-rested will also allow you to push your limits further during your next workout.
Endorphins released during exercise may inhibit the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. If you have difficulties settling down to sleep after a workout, practice relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises. Stretching is also a great way to focus on muscle relief and slow the heart rate down in preparation for sleep.
Studies show that blue light emitted from mobile devices also affects our sleep patterns because it confuses the body’s circadian rhythm. It’s best practice to switch mobile devices off for a deeper sleep. If this is not possible, try placing them in another room, or the bedside drawer.
If you struggle to sleep at all, or especially after a workout, try some of these tips:
- Research shows that chocolate milk is beneficial to muscle repair. Milk contains Tryptophan, an amino acid needed for the production of sleep hormones, serotonin, and melatonin.
- Ensure your bedroom is dark.
- Your body may be overheated from training. Sleep on cotton sheets as they will assist in keeping you cool. A mattress with cooling technology, such as Celliant, can also help reduce body heat.
- Schedule rest days in your training regimen. If you are over-exercising, your body may have difficulty in winding down to rest.
- Make your bed daily. Getting into a crisp bed makes for a comfortable sleep.
With these guidelines and a good night’s rest, you’ll undoubtedly be ready for your next workout.