After exercising, are you ready to take a nap? For some people, exercise hypes them up, while others get drowsy. If you fall into the latter group, here’s how to stop feeling sleepy after exercise.
Exercise is supposed to make you feel better. For some people, a good workout boosts their energy level and hypes them up which is why most experts advise against working out in the evening – particularly if you have problems falling asleep. On the other hand, some people feel sleepy after exercise. Instead of feeling renewed and invigorated after getting home from the gym, they want to stretch out and take a long nap. If you fall into the latter category, are there ways to reduce drowsiness after exercise so you can be more productive?
What Causes a Person to Feel Sleepy After Exercise?
There are a variety of reasons why sleepiness can occur after exercise. One of the most common is trying to exercise when the body is low on fuel. If you head to the gym after work and you haven’t eaten in several hours, your glycogen stores may be depleted. Your body prefers to use carbohydrates and glycogen during high intensity exercise and if your stores are low, you become fatigued more quickly and feel tired afterwards. The solution? Eat a high protein snack that also has complex carbohydrates such as peanut butter on whole grain crackers before heading to the gym. This will give you the necessary energy to complete your workout without feeling wiped out when you finish. Don’t forget to stay well hydrated. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and post-exercise sleepiness and can also reduce exercise performance. Keep a water bottle on hand when you exercise and sip from it frequently.
Feeling excessively sleep or fatigued after a workout can be a sign of overtraining. This means you’re doing too much and not giving your body sufficient time to recover. This is a common syndrome among athletes and can lead to loss of motivation, injuries, and increased risk of illness due to suppression of the immune system. Other signs of overtraining include muscle soreness, depression, nausea, irritability, and lack of motivation. The only cure for this condition is to cut back on exercise and allow your body to rest.
Some medical conditions such as diabetes, low blood sugar, anemia, and an underactive thyroid can cause sleepiness and fatigue after exercise. These are conditions that should be ruled out by a doctor. Some medications such as beta-blockers for blood pressure control, anti-anxiety medications, and drugs used to treat depression can also cause excessive sleepiness after working out. Ask your doctor if your medications could be contributing.
One solution for reducing sleepiness after exercise that works for some people is to exercise first thing in the morning. Try exercising at different times of the day and see what works for you and make sure you have a healthy snack at least an hour beforehand. Giving your body appropriate fuel and enough rest are both key to a strong and healthy body.