Non Restful Sleep WITH Exercise

Posted by darkelliam @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.

@lioness

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

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@lioness
I like that idea. I have tried it a bunch and it does help relax me but it doesn't always mean I sleep well.

Liked by lioness

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@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.

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@suecreader
Thank you for the input. I only have caffeine first thing in the morning and drink plenty of water throughout the day so it should be long gone before the nighttime. It does suck though because sleep is critical for recovering and I cannot really make too much progress if ANY progress while I am having these sleep issues.

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@contentandwell

@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

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@contentandwell
I have tried taking Advil but I am also aware that it shouldn't be the permanent fix. It does help somewhat but again, not all of the time. Plus I do not want to hurt my liver.

@ihatediabetes
I have never considered that and I suppose it would help with blood flow but I have never had issues involving that before.

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@hopeful33250

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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@hopeful33250

Hi Teresa,

When did you start experiencing the sleep issues? I am curious if you have an extensive exercise background. I have a hunch that my years of heavy compound lifting may have severely taxed my body. I am not trying to brag.. but I deadlift over 400+ pounds, benchpress near 300 and squat 300+. I am only mentioning this because maybe its very taxing on my nervous system.
I do think I want to see a neurologist but I hope that they do not completely discredit the issues i'm experiencing because that seems to be the case from what I have read. I do notice that when I focus on self care extensively it helps slightly. Cardio exercise has helped slightly. Everything that helps alleviate soreness helps but doesn't necessarily get me a good nights sleep. I will most definitely stay active on this thread as I am trying to find solutions and others experiencing the same thing.

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@darkelliam

@hopeful33250

Hi Teresa,

When did you start experiencing the sleep issues? I am curious if you have an extensive exercise background. I have a hunch that my years of heavy compound lifting may have severely taxed my body. I am not trying to brag.. but I deadlift over 400+ pounds, benchpress near 300 and squat 300+. I am only mentioning this because maybe its very taxing on my nervous system.
I do think I want to see a neurologist but I hope that they do not completely discredit the issues i'm experiencing because that seems to be the case from what I have read. I do notice that when I focus on self care extensively it helps slightly. Cardio exercise has helped slightly. Everything that helps alleviate soreness helps but doesn't necessarily get me a good nights sleep. I will most definitely stay active on this thread as I am trying to find solutions and others experiencing the same thing.

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Hi @darkelliam

For me the sleep issues (and pain) began around menopause and for me that was early, in my late 40's. I definitely enjoyed exercise but not to the point that you do it. I would go to aerobic classes and on days there were no classes, I would walk a mile or so. Never did the kind of weight work that you have done.

You don't mention your age, however, it could be just your body slowing down a bit and you may have to accept that (sounds terrible I know). I only exercise three times a week now, not every day. It helps me sleep better.

I have tried some supplements and I think the one that has helped the most is called "Calm." It is a powered magnesium that you mix in a little warm water (it will fizz) then you can add cold water or juice (I use cranberry juice). Magnesium is good for the muscles. I use it every night (even when I haven't exercised). I'm certainly not trying to sell a product, but I heard about this on another health forum and I tried it and it does work better than regular magnesium supplements in pill form. Liquid supplements tend to get absorbed by the body quicker than other forms.

Keep posting, I'm looking forward to learning more from you about this unusual exercise problem.

Liked by lioness

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@darkelliam

@contentandwell
I have tried taking Advil but I am also aware that it shouldn't be the permanent fix. It does help somewhat but again, not all of the time. Plus I do not want to hurt my liver.

@ihatediabetes
I have never considered that and I suppose it would help with blood flow but I have never had issues involving that before.

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@darkelliam At one point a doctor put me on 9 400 mg ibuprofen a day and I wondered if that could have affected my liver but I was told it did not. It's ironic that taking too much Tylenol can effect your liver but after transplant it's the only OTC pain reliever you can take. The maximum of it is 2000 mg a day though. Check with your doctor about the ibuprofen. If you only take it at night, on the days when you have exercised, you may find that it is perfectly fine.
JK

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@darkelliam This may be a case of correlation not equaling causation. I'd look at what you are putting in your body and when you're doing it. Do you eat the same thing on days you workout? Do you drink the same amount of water? When are you eating/drinking on those day. I would go down this type of path before taking any meds, even OTC meds.

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@darkelliam

@lioness
I like that idea. I have tried it a bunch and it does help relax me but it doesn't always mean I sleep well.

Jump to this post

@darkelliam Before I go to bed I even apply E.S rub you can buy it's in s tube and apply to where your hurting for me it's my legs or just warm water

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@hopeful33250

Hi @darkelliam

For me the sleep issues (and pain) began around menopause and for me that was early, in my late 40's. I definitely enjoyed exercise but not to the point that you do it. I would go to aerobic classes and on days there were no classes, I would walk a mile or so. Never did the kind of weight work that you have done.

You don't mention your age, however, it could be just your body slowing down a bit and you may have to accept that (sounds terrible I know). I only exercise three times a week now, not every day. It helps me sleep better.

I have tried some supplements and I think the one that has helped the most is called "Calm." It is a powered magnesium that you mix in a little warm water (it will fizz) then you can add cold water or juice (I use cranberry juice). Magnesium is good for the muscles. I use it every night (even when I haven't exercised). I'm certainly not trying to sell a product, but I heard about this on another health forum and I tried it and it does work better than regular magnesium supplements in pill form. Liquid supplements tend to get absorbed by the body quicker than other forms.

Keep posting, I'm looking forward to learning more from you about this unusual exercise problem.

Jump to this post

@hopeful33250
I actually did post my age. I am 23 so I hope I am not starting to slow down already haha. Funny you mention magnesium. I take a supplement called ZMA with theanine which helps relax the muscles as well. I think a combination of positive sleep habits and things that promote recovery help me but I still find it so strange that I have all these issues at my age. Especially since I have toned back my workouts drastically.

@contentandwell
Wow, thats really valuable information thanks. the Advil may help..

@mickj
I eat the same both days more or less and consume lots of water. The only noticeable thing thats different from each day is the physical exercise. I do agree with you that I should not take meds unless I absently have to. That is why I came to the forums.

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@darkelliam

@hopeful33250
I actually did post my age. I am 23 so I hope I am not starting to slow down already haha. Funny you mention magnesium. I take a supplement called ZMA with theanine which helps relax the muscles as well. I think a combination of positive sleep habits and things that promote recovery help me but I still find it so strange that I have all these issues at my age. Especially since I have toned back my workouts drastically.

@contentandwell
Wow, thats really valuable information thanks. the Advil may help..

@mickj
I eat the same both days more or less and consume lots of water. The only noticeable thing thats different from each day is the physical exercise. I do agree with you that I should not take meds unless I absently have to. That is why I came to the forums.

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Given your young age, @darkelliam, I would definitely recommend seeing a good neurologist at a major medical center, with a multidisciplinary approach.

Hope you will get some answers. Will you keep posting?

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@hopeful33250
Yes, I will.
I think that my issue is rare especially given my age but it seems that are few others out there seeking answers and if I can help others from what I have learned that would be amazing.

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@darkelliam Yes, it would be!

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@darkelliam

@hopeful33250
I actually did post my age. I am 23 so I hope I am not starting to slow down already haha. Funny you mention magnesium. I take a supplement called ZMA with theanine which helps relax the muscles as well. I think a combination of positive sleep habits and things that promote recovery help me but I still find it so strange that I have all these issues at my age. Especially since I have toned back my workouts drastically.

@contentandwell
Wow, thats really valuable information thanks. the Advil may help..

@mickj
I eat the same both days more or less and consume lots of water. The only noticeable thing thats different from each day is the physical exercise. I do agree with you that I should not take meds unless I absently have to. That is why I came to the forums.

Jump to this post

@darkelliam please do check with your doctor on how much he/she feels is OK. I think that the PCP I had back then may have over-prescribed. She had me taking 1800 mg a day. The Advil site says to not take more than 1200 mg a day unless prescribed by a doctor and to not take it for more than 10 days.
JK

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@contentandwell
I will check no worries.

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Several of you talked about challenges with not getting restful sleep on exercise days and offered suggestions on how this might be overcome. I'd love to hear an update and anything new you may have learned along the way that might be helpful to others in this discussion.

@darkelliam – how are the sleep issues going on the days you weight train?

Hi, @ihatediabetes – you talked a bit about the clothing one wears during exercise, specifically compression pants. Will you share more about this and how these might be helpful to @darkelliam or others?

@hopeful33250 – you talked about facing this issue, too, with having trouble sleeping on the days where you exercise. Are you still finding this to be the case? If so, which of the self-care tips you mentioned do you find works the best: warm shower at bedtime, ibuprofen (Advil) in the evening, heating pad or electric blanket, deep breathing exercises or Tai-Chi?

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