Sleepy After Workout

Exercise is an activity that is supposed to make you feel energized but there are so many days when post-workout all I want to do is lay in bed and succumb to the temptation of sleep. It was different from a usual lethargy, something akin to completely crashing. I wondered at the cause and after observing for days I noticed a pattern of the days I fell asleep after a workout, read ahead to know what caused it and how I combated my untimely sleepiness.

Why does it occur?

I have days when I do high-intensity interval training and days where I opt for a moderate cardio session. Needless to say, I felt drowsier after those HIIT sessions. Our body derives its energy from the molecule adenosine triphosphate, or ATP during any physical activity. Any rigorous training routine is bound to deplete those energy reserves (ATP) resulting in extreme fatigue and/or sleepiness. This indicates that a heavy exercise routine that causes more stress on your body is very likely to be the cause of post-workout sleepiness. 

There is an endless list of reasons that contribute to my messed-up sleep schedule. Nevertheless, I manage to score a satisfactory sleep most nights but on days that I don’t, my energy during workout and after it does a good job in reminding me to sleep properly. Whenever I get fewer hours of sleep, the urge to take a nap after my workout seems more magnified than ever. Thus, inadequate sleep is another factor that adds to the drowsiness I experience after my workout.

How To Fight Post-Workout Fatigue

Here are my top 4 ways that work best against post-workout fatigue:

Stay Hydrated

It is no news that water makes up 60% of our bodies. Even on days when I am not exercising, my body (and yours too!) requires half my body weight in ounces of water per day, so just imagine how much it would be on days I exercise. I, for one, sweat a lot during my workout sessions and thus try to actively consume water before and after a workout. 

When drinking water before a workout, I try to take it in half an hour or so before my training as nobody looks forward to the feeling of water sloshing in my stomach during cardio. Dehydration has been shown to negatively impact energy levels hence working out while dehydrated is bound to tire your muscles out and that fatigue may persist even after your workout. I repeatedly noticed that on days I deliberately hydrated myself, the urge to take a nap considerably lowered.

Fix Diet

Fixing my diet resulted in huge changes in my post-workout energy level. Before this I never paid much attention to regulating my diet according to my training routine and ate whatever and whenever I felt like. After adding a pre-workout meal to my day, I felt visibly energized and this feeling only amplified when I gradually added a post-workout snack to my diet. I planned my pre-workout snack to be an easily digestible protein with a fast-burning carb source which was usually a smoothie or peanut butter paired with some fruits. Similar to this was my post-workout snack that too included both protein and complex carbs.

Try Supplements

Eating and sleeping right are habits that helped me maintain my energy levels, yet there were times when academic, family stress and various other factors dampened my mood and added to my physical lethargy. My grandma always advocated for the health benefits of beetroot and similar other natural ingredients whenever I mentioned my woes to her. Turns out beetroot powder has made a name for itself in this field scientifically as it produces nitric oxide in our body which increases the blood flow, oxygen delivery and relaxes blood vessels. But prepping these natural foods daily when I already had a short time on my hands became a hassle for me. Therefore, I opted for supplements which are a quick way to gain the benefits of these substances. I drink it daily before starting out on my day and feel energized throughout my whole day.

Cool Down After A Workout

Cooling down after your routine is just as important as the actual workout. Since the body temperature is high and blood vessels are dilated while working out, stopping all of sudden can lead to feeling sick or even passing out. It also clears the lactic acid that is built up during a workout which results in reduced stiffness and cramping. If you notice a feeling of drowsiness after your workout then adding a 15-minute cool down to your routine can help a lot with that.

Now you know the reasons that caused me, and most probably other people, the urge to sleep after their workout. Keep in mind that napping is only our body’s natural response and sometimes (or maybe always, if your schedule allows) should be honored. Napping can also facilitate muscle recovery and boost your energy levels when taken in the right amount. If the problem of sleepiness after a workout persists even after you have tried all methods you can, highly suggests you consult your doctor about it.


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