Struggling to sleep? Did you know this?

Do you struggle to sleep after training in the evening? Getting too hot in bed? So restless that you hardly slept and feel shattered in the morning? I have written a blog to help as we all know sleep is so important for recovery and keeping the injuries away.

There are so many factors that can affect your sleep. Things like being stressed can contribute to this, however if we look at it by a sporting aspect, again many factors play an important role such as over training and doing too much can of course affect your sleep. Sleep is talked about a lot and how important it is for recovery, yet this particular issue often gets mistaken for over training. In fact the first thing people ask if you are struggling to sleep is “have you upped your training volume and changed your diet?” which of course contributes to poor sleep.

However there is one thing that you may not realise can affect your sleep in a big way and not for good reasons. You might be confused as to why you can’t sleep. Sleep is key and I can’t stress how important sleep is for recovery and for a whole load of other reasons such as your mental wellbeing.

How often have you had a late night and felt rubbish the following day or even a few days later? Your body needs sleep to function and in a sporting aspect sleep is so important for athletes, it is the most important aspect to their training. Having a lack of sleep also effects your mood which in turn can effect your motivation to get out and train. It’s simple sleep that helps your body repair and recover, so you can see why it’s important to recover after a session. But in this blog I am talking about something else that can cause you to have a bad night sleep.

Training can have a huge impact on your sleep and although it may seem obvious the reason why it isn’t and this is how you can stop it and have a better night sleep after training. We have all done it, for example tried to squeeze a run in late or even running with your running club at 7pm until 8pm and by the time you get home it may not give you enough time to eat before you go to sleep and shower etc. Of course eating after a session is very important and there is nothing wrong with training late.  However when you exercise your body temperature rises and if the temperature is still high when you go to sleep you will then struggle to go to sleep or even stay awake most of the night feeling restless. Exercise elevates body temperature, and cooling your body becomes increasingly difficult when you are inadequately hydrated and if it’s when you’re trying to sleep your body will struggle to cool you down. So basically if your are not hydrated before you go to bed this is the reason why you are struggling to sleep.

Dehydration is highly likely following long running or a hard session. It takes time to rehydrate from mild dehydration – some studies say around 45 minutes before your body rehydrates. So although you feel tired the heat from your body will keep you awake – does this sound familiar? Some people are so warm I have heard stories that their partners say they are like hot water bottles in bed.

Therefore water is so important for so many reasons after every training session not just for long runs, I always have 2 pints of water after training. Your temperature after running can stay higher as long as 5 hours but if you drink water and if you are hydrated you will be able to sleep better as a result after sessions and your body will be able to cool you down. It is more common that people get sleepless nights after a race or a hard sessions for exactly the same reason.

A simple fix is to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water after your sessions because If you’re not hydrated then at night when your resting its hard for your body to regulate and keep the temperature down, so if you your not hydrated you wont sleep well or at all.

So the key here is to stay hydrated at all times and better sleep means better quality of training and better mood as well as many other benefits. I hope you found this useful. Have you had this issue? let me know…

You can check my YouTube video on this subject HERE