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darkelliam
@darkelliam

Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 04, 2019

Non Restful Sleep WITH Exercise

Posted by @darkelliam, Fri, Jan 4 12:46pm

Hello Everyone,

I am hoping to find a solution to a unique issue I have been dealing with for the past 2 years. I do not get restful sleep on days that I exercise. Any weight bearing exercise (bodyweight, light weights, heavy weights) will result in me not getting restful sleep and feeling incredibly groggy the next morning. I am 23 years old, 172 pounds and roughly 6ft tall. I consider myself above average in terms of physical fitness but it took me a long time to realize my sleep issues seem to be correlated with my workouts. I have a healthy diet and no known other health problems that may cause this, but I was shocked when I realized on days that I simply do NOT exercise, I am able to sleep fine and feel refreshed the next morning. I have done lots of research and most people are supposed to sleep better with exercise, yet I am experiencing the opposite. I do not want to just stop working out and lose everything I worked so hard for, but I am also aware sleep is a critical necessity for everyone. I also train in the mornings and do not consume caffeine anywhere near bed time, I just notice that I wake up extra achy with very low energy on the following day after I train. I typically do compound movements but have experimented with different types of workouts to see if there is a difference but I have had no luck. I am hoping someone can either relate, or a doctor can respond to propose some solutions. I am considering seeing a neurologist to see if I have central nervous system burnout. I have spoken to my doctor a couple of times pertaining to this and he thinks its psychological but I disagree. I have also had my cortisol levels checked and they were in the healthy range. If anyone has any ideas please let me know.

Thank you.

REPLY

Hi, @darkelliam, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. It sounds like you want to get your regular exercise but you're not getting restful sleep on days that you do, while feeling fine and rested on days that you don't.

I'd like to invite into this discussion some Connect members who have talked about regular exercise or sleep challenges for their insights on this. Please meet @contentandwell @stulerner @IndianaScott @ladybirder @ladybugmg @ihatediabetes @lioness @emgold2013.

@darkelliam – are you having trouble falling asleep or remaining asleep on exercise days, or just waking up not feeling rested?

Hello Lisa! @lisalucier

Thank you for responding so quickly and fueling this discussion. I am having trouble with all of the above, but more than anything just waking up and not feeling well rested on days that I train. I will be able to "sleep" and dream but its not the same deep restful sleep I am able to get on days that I do not exercise.

@darkelliam

Hello Lisa! @lisalucier

Thank you for responding so quickly and fueling this discussion. I am having trouble with all of the above, but more than anything just waking up and not feeling well rested on days that I train. I will be able to "sleep" and dream but its not the same deep restful sleep I am able to get on days that I do not exercise.

Jump to this post

What kind of clothes do you wear when you exercise? Do you drink enough water? Do you cool down after you exercise or just stop?

@darkelliam Are you active at night? You should take it easy before bed .Suggestions are turn off all electric things and cell phone around 10 or an hour before bedtime. ,listen to soft music. Have you had a physical and blood work done lately that could be causing you not to sleep Suggestion have you thyroid test done I think not sure your hypothalamus might be overactive with the exercising you do that causes you not to sleep .First talk to your Dr. about this and see what he /she says.

@lisalucier

Hi, @darkelliam, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. It sounds like you want to get your regular exercise but you're not getting restful sleep on days that you do, while feeling fine and rested on days that you don't.

I'd like to invite into this discussion some Connect members who have talked about regular exercise or sleep challenges for their insights on this. Please meet @contentandwell @stulerner @IndianaScott @ladybirder @ladybugmg @ihatediabetes @lioness @emgold2013.

@darkelliam – are you having trouble falling asleep or remaining asleep on exercise days, or just waking up not feeling rested?

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@lisalucier @darkelliam I really can't imagine why it would happen, that on days you exercise you can't sleep. My immediate thought was that you were exercising too close to bedtime, I know that's a problem for some. You said though that you exercise in the morning so
you can't possibly be wound up by bedtime. I wish I could suggest some cause but I am stumped. On days when I exercise I find I am generally more tired at bedtime and can get to sleep more easily.
JK

Liked by lioness

@ihatediabetes

What kind of clothes do you wear when you exercise? Do you drink enough water? Do you cool down after you exercise or just stop?

Jump to this post

@ihatediabetes
I wear normal workout clothes. Sweatpants and a t-shirt. I drink water throughout my workout yes. I am very into fitness and was a personal trainer when I was 18 so I have knowledge regarding exercise in general. I do cool down after I workout but nothing has really helped.

@lioness

@darkelliam Are you active at night? You should take it easy before bed .Suggestions are turn off all electric things and cell phone around 10 or an hour before bedtime. ,listen to soft music. Have you had a physical and blood work done lately that could be causing you not to sleep Suggestion have you thyroid test done I think not sure your hypothalamus might be overactive with the exercising you do that causes you not to sleep .First talk to your Dr. about this and see what he /she says.

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@lioness I am not active at night. I don't drink alcohol or do any drugs whatsoever. I consider myself very healthy with the exception of my sleep issues.I have actually spoke to my doctor a couple of times regarding this issue and have had blood and thyroid checked but they are okay. It's strange because the issue is only on days where I work out with weight training.

Liked by lioness

@contentandwell

@lisalucier @darkelliam I really can't imagine why it would happen, that on days you exercise you can't sleep. My immediate thought was that you were exercising too close to bedtime, I know that's a problem for some. You said though that you exercise in the morning so
you can't possibly be wound up by bedtime. I wish I could suggest some cause but I am stumped. On days when I exercise I find I am generally more tired at bedtime and can get to sleep more easily.
JK

Jump to this post

@contentandwell
Thanks for tuning in. You are definitely supposed to sleep better with exercise but I find myself very achy and its hard for me to get that deep sleep I need to recover.

@lisalucier I'd love if a neurologist or sleep doctor could give me their opinion. I have only ever heard of a few people with the issues i experience. I am wondering if its possible that my central nervous system is fried from years of weight training.

@darkelliam

@contentandwell
Thanks for tuning in. You are definitely supposed to sleep better with exercise but I find myself very achy and its hard for me to get that deep sleep I need to recover.

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@darkelliam After you cool down maybe Taking a Epsom Salt soak would help as your muscles you say are sore? Just an idea?

@darkelliam

@ihatediabetes
I wear normal workout clothes. Sweatpants and a t-shirt. I drink water throughout my workout yes. I am very into fitness and was a personal trainer when I was 18 so I have knowledge regarding exercise in general. I do cool down after I workout but nothing has really helped.

Jump to this post

First of all, I commend you for your commitment to physical fitness. It is hard work to be in shape and maintain that level of and us.
My input is so minor that I almost hesitate to post it, but I whereas I used to be able to drink caffeine up until 6/7:00 PM, I noticed it was interfering with my sleep, so I cut back to 4:00 PM as the stop time for no caffeine. I know you said you don’t drink caffeine in the evening, but I am wondering if you drink some mid afternoon. For me, it is now about 10 years after noticing for the first time that I was unable to fall asleep after consuming any caffeine at all (including chocolate) or alcohol so I think I’ve become extra sensitive to it. If I’ve had caffeine too late in the day, then my symptoms are similar to yours, I feel tired physically, But I just can’t seem to fall into the drowsiness that leads to sleep even though I feel I am on the verge of it. I don’t exercise like you do however, and since you worked as a personal trainer you have an extensive knowledge of the importance of bringing active & healthy.
It is true without adequate sleep, everything kind of goes haywire, and it is hard to be alert & fully functional. Good luck with getting answers that lead to better sleep.

@darkelliam

@contentandwell
Thanks for tuning in. You are definitely supposed to sleep better with exercise but I find myself very achy and its hard for me to get that deep sleep I need to recover.

Jump to this post

@darkelliam if it’s achiness that’s keeping you awake have you tried taking an ibuprofen before bed? If I’m aching I take a Tylenol because I can’t take NSAIDS being post liver transplant. Tylenol is not an anti-inflammatory so it doesn’t help as much but it’s better than nothing.
JK

@suecreader

First of all, I commend you for your commitment to physical fitness. It is hard work to be in shape and maintain that level of and us.
My input is so minor that I almost hesitate to post it, but I whereas I used to be able to drink caffeine up until 6/7:00 PM, I noticed it was interfering with my sleep, so I cut back to 4:00 PM as the stop time for no caffeine. I know you said you don’t drink caffeine in the evening, but I am wondering if you drink some mid afternoon. For me, it is now about 10 years after noticing for the first time that I was unable to fall asleep after consuming any caffeine at all (including chocolate) or alcohol so I think I’ve become extra sensitive to it. If I’ve had caffeine too late in the day, then my symptoms are similar to yours, I feel tired physically, But I just can’t seem to fall into the drowsiness that leads to sleep even though I feel I am on the verge of it. I don’t exercise like you do however, and since you worked as a personal trainer you have an extensive knowledge of the importance of bringing active & healthy.
It is true without adequate sleep, everything kind of goes haywire, and it is hard to be alert & fully functional. Good luck with getting answers that lead to better sleep.

Jump to this post

@suecreader @darkelliam another good thought! I have read that if you are at all sensitive to the effects of caffeine you should stop drinking coffee and tea as early as noon. I never used to be bothered by caffeine but I am now. Sometimes if I order decaf in a restaurant I know afterward that they gave me regular coffee because I am basically “wired” when I try to fall asleep.
JK

@darkelliam

@ihatediabetes
I wear normal workout clothes. Sweatpants and a t-shirt. I drink water throughout my workout yes. I am very into fitness and was a personal trainer when I was 18 so I have knowledge regarding exercise in general. I do cool down after I workout but nothing has really helped.

Jump to this post

Have you ever thought of compression pants when you train?

Hello @darkelliam

I sooo understand what you are saying. I have had the same problem for years (and years). I don't have any good answers but I do practice a lot of self-care on the days when I exercise. I do have a variety of health problems so I would suggest seeing a neurologist (someone very, very experienced – like a movement disorder specialist) at one of the better medical facilities near you.

Now, that I'm retired I take a warm shower at bedtime, take an Advil in the evening, and often use a heating pad or electric blanket. I also use some deep breathing exercises. I have also found that Tai-Chi helps in the evening, as it is made up of gentle slow movements. (There are a lot of short Youtube videos with 9 minute Tai Chi exercises that you can follow.)

I hope my thoughts help. Will you post again and let me know how you are doing with your search for an answer?

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