Yes, it’s true, there is such a thing as “post workout insomnia” and it often comes when you increase the intensity of your training program. Higher levels of training can trigger a stress response in the body elevating your stress-related hormones—cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. These hormones increase your heart rate, alertness, and the blood flow to your muscles, so they help you perform the physical activity but may make it difficult to doze off. Not only that, if these hormones are elevated over a long period of time, it can even be dangerous for your heart health.
The solution is in how you recover between training sessions. You have to ensure you’re able to transition into a recovery state by introducing the right combination of nutrients and sleep so your body is rested and ready for the next session. Some tips to keep in mind:
- If you’re training more than once a day, consider completing the more intense training in the morning. This will help to avoid introducing the highest levels of the disruptive hormones right before sleep and gives your body time to process these out.
- Avoid caffeine too late in the day, although it might help with training it could contribute to insomnia.
- Take a hot shower or sauna before sleeping, the sudden temperature drop from getting out of the bath helps your body shut itself down and prepare to sleep.
- Take a sleep supplement such as PowerDown. This provides just the right combination of vitamins and minerals to move you into a recovery state and ensures the deep, quality sleep necessary for full physical recovery.
- Hydrate adequately during your workout, this helps to reduce your body’s cortisol response.