The Pros and Cons of Sleeping Straight After Exercise

Written by Sabi Phagura on . Posted in Fitness, Health

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I am 100% guilty of coming home after a workout ready to collapse onto my bed – the exhaustion really does get the better of me. However, is it really best to take to the gym in the quieter hours of the late evening, or will heading to bed straight after working out actually create more bad than good?

Well, over the past few years, a fair amount of research over numerous studies have looked at whether sleeping straight after a workout is actually beneficial to us. There are advantages and disadvantages to sleeping after different types of exercise, whether this be flexibility training, strength training or cardio, and of course, how much exercise you do certainly depends on how your body will react post workout. I have teamed up with Happy Beds to look at whether sleeping after exercise is something we should heavily avoid or perhaps something that we should do more of. 

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Cons 

Those that take on a good cardiovascular or strength training session may not benefit from sleeping shortly after exercise as the body may find it harder to get to sleep. The body will produce cortisol, a hormone that helps fight stress and anxiety which is why it may keep you alert for a little longer.  You may crash from exhaustion after a great workout, but your body may soon fight this, and have you wake up tossing and turning throughout the night. The common term for this is post-workout insomnia; very common amongst athletes. 

If weight loss is something that you’re trying to achieve, then perhaps working out before bed isn’t the best option. Working out before taking a sleep has been proven to have no metabolic boost. You’d be better off taking a morning workout rather than an evening one. 

Another negative to hitting the gym before bedtime is that your body still continues to increase in body temperature for hours after the workout is over. This could add to the hours of tossing and turning 

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Pros 

If you have spent some time in the gym building up your muscles, focusing on strength training rather than cardio, then doing this at night before going to sleep is a great idea. Your muscles tend to repair and grow more while you sleep, so hitting the mattress straight after weight training is beneficial for muscle growth. 

You may find that you have more energy in the evenings which is why you may get more completed in the gym in the evening than the early hours of the morning. You have had a full day of food consumption and your body has taken in the sugar and carbs that your body may need to stay energised. 

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If you’ve had a hard day at work, then taking to the gym after a day at the office can help you blow off stress faster than almost anything else. Working out is a great anxiety and stress burner and with work life being one of the common causes of stress, taking to the gym after work will help fight this. 

NOTE: This post was written in collaboration with Happy Beds; the UK’s fastest growing online bed and mattress store, and also the only UK supplier of the 100% recyclable cardboard bed.

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Sabi Phagura

I am a freelance journalist and lifestyle blogger. I travel the world covering travel, destinations, hotel, spas and bar reviews and love fitness. This blog illustrates how you can lead a healthy lifestyle, travel the world and still have a life! I am also a qualified fitness instructor, Punjabi-Hindi interpreter and a champagne and rum enthusiast.

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