Share Pin Email
feature image
Live Fit

Are Your Exercise Habits Sabotaging Your Sleep?

Big fitness goals make you want to work extra hard. However, if you find yourself struggling to get quality sleep at night, you may be overtraining.

44
Author Image
Contributing Writer
SHARE:

Normally, a hard workout guarantees a good night’s rest, but there is a point when intense training can lead to diminishing returns, especially on nighttime sleep. In a small study published in Journal of Sports Sciences last fall, a team of exercise physiologists measured the effect an intensified fitness program had on the sleep of 13 highly-trained male cyclists. Researchers found that in just nine days of heavy training, cyclists saw a significant reduction in performance, sleep quality, and mood.

Sleep is one of training’s most important tools and getting enough of it—a recommended seven to nine hours per night—is essential for repairing and strengthening overtaxed muscles. When an athlete gets enough shuteye, blood supply increases to muscles and the pituitary gland releases natural growth hormone to facilitate muscle and bone growth, healing, and adaptation. Waking up refreshed means you’re likely rolling out of bed feeling stronger, faster, and ready to tackle another workout. Without a restful night’s cycles of REM and deep sleep, performance and mood wanes.


Related: An Explanation of REM Sleep and Dreams


Few studies have looked into measuring the effect of the overtraining-sleepless connection and insight is sorely needed, says Sophie Killer, Ph.D., the study’s lead researcher and performance nutritionist with British Athletics at the English Institute of Sport. “Part of the reason there’s such a paucity of data is because it’s not easy to get approval to overtrain someone,” she says. “We had to find people willing to sign up because we really needed to push their boundaries and have them take a battering.”

In the study, Killer and her colleagues at the School of Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, recruited 13 cyclists to complete two nine-day, intensified training periods in which they were given a diet of either moderate or high carbohydrate before, during, and after workouts. Researchers more than doubled the athletes’ baseline training volume and intensity, measuring their VO2, heart rate and power output stats as they trained. They also asked cyclists to keep a mood and diet diary, as well as wear an actigraphy watch to measure movements as they slept.

“We weren’t surprised that the athletes spent more time in bed at night during training,” Killer says. “But we found that despite the increased time in bed, they couldn’t get more sleep and actually got less than before.” The cyclists woke and moved more throughout the night, and logged less total time asleep.

You don’t have to train like a maniac to experience exercise-induced insomnia. Taking on a new fitness goal, such as going from the couch to half marathon training, could over-stress your muscles to the point of acute fatigue. Dubbed “overreaching,” the muscles are broken down during these cycles for a purposeful short-term decrease in performance to make them stronger.

But when athletes find themselves in a cycle of back-to-back racing or upping their mileage too quickly without giving their bodies adequate time to recover, the continual breakdown of muscles can lead to the more serious overtraining syndrome. With overtraining syndrome comes chronic fatigue, lingering muscle soreness, and even depression that can take months or years to recover from.

If a training program is making you feel irritable and low energy plus disrupting your sleep, it’s time to reevaluate your plan. Those symptoms are a first sign that you may need to take a couple of days off or decrease the volume and intensity of your workouts. Doing so might give you a better shot of reaching your fitness goals without sacrificing your body in the process. Killer suggests to practice “rest and recovery, eat decent meals packed with protein and iron, and even cross-training to reduce the mental fatigue that goes along with the grind.”

By

SHARE:

Comments (0)

A 3-Day Clean Eating Meal Plan

Reset your diet to feel healthy and energized with Sonima’s free six-page guide designed to keep you satisfied as you cut back on calories, sugar, and processed foods!

Get the Guide

Load More

Find us on Instagram

@LIVESONIMA
  • Did you know it’s good to stretch your body after swimming? 
In this article, we offer some yoga postures to open the spine, relax the shoulders, and balance the hips for your post-swim routine. 
See our bio link 🔗 for more photos and a full description of each posture. .
.
.
.
.
.
.
#yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #createbalance #createhealthyhabits #brainhealth #mindbodyconnection #simplefitness #stayhealthy #yogaforswimmers #stretchtherapy #stretchingexercises #stretchrevolution 
#summertime #exerciseroutine
  • Exercising your body changes your brain, it promotes a more positive outlook, enhances problem solving skills, creates a deeper sense of calm, improves recall, and heightens your cognitive abilities!

The good news is that you not only can enjoy the runner's high, while burning more calories, but running also improves your overall mental clarity. 
Read more... Link in profile! 🏃‍♀️ 🏃 .
.
.
Photo with gratitude from • @spiritualpeople 🙏🏽
.
.
.
.
.
.
#mondaymeditation #mondaymotivation #mondaymood #mondaymiles 
#yogalifestyle #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife 
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #createbalance #createhealthyhabits #brainhealth #mindbodyconnection
#spiritualpeople #spiritualpeoplecommunity #liveyourbestlife #runningmotivation #runninginspiration #runnershigh #runnerslife
  • “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
—Lao Tzu, philosopher and poet

Find 20 more brilliant insights on our website, shared from some of the world's most inspiring thinkers — all on love! 💖 Link in bio. .
.
.
.
.
.
#loveislove #loveislove🌈 #lovequotes #loveyourself #loveisallcolors #selfawareness #meditationchallenge #selflessservice #mindfulnessquotes 
#yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #createbalance #createhealthyhabits #mindbodyconnection #meditatedaily #meditationinspiration #saturdaymorning
  • .
.
If you have an umbilical hernia, modify your practice by putting less stress on your abdomen. Reduce the intensity and duration of the practice and avoid straining or lifting a lot of weight, which can increase intra-abdominal pressure and worsen the hernia. 
Always make sure to consult your doctor before returning to or beginning a yoga practice with any kind of hernia, or physical health concerns. 🙏🏽
  • The Yoga Sutras are full of ancient wisdom to help cultivate more peace of mind during troubling times. 
Here in sutra 2.33, Patanjali states: “vitarkabādhane pratipakṣabhāvanam” which translates as, “One must cultivate a mental attitude that counteracts the doubts and uncertainties that trouble us.” .

Read the full article as @andrew.hillam explains the valuable significance of this practice and suggests ways to incorporate this age-old advice on how to overcome negative thoughts into your daily life. (Follow the link in our bio) 🙏🏽 .
.
.
.
Photo by @danielletsifoto 🧡 of @sharathjoisr during #sharathjoisusa2019 .
.
.
.
#ashtangayoga #ashtangalove #ashtangavinyasayoga #fitnessmotivation #ashtangafamily #sonima #livesonima #yogahealing #yogaheals #beyondasana #yogaoffthemat #liveyoga #livefit #livehealthy #sharathjois #guruji
#sharathtour2019 #yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife
#mindfulliving #livewell #thursdaymotivation #thursdaythoughts #yogasutra #yogasutras
  • 3 Ayurvedic Tips to Release Summer Heat:

1. Chill yourself by eating more cooling foods like berries, cucumber, or mint tea.

2. Use coconut oil for massage and practice slow restorative types of exercise.

3. Try cooling pranayama (breathing exercises) and integrate a regular time for calming meditation (see our feathered video). .

For more great ideas and helpful hints on how to rebalance your overheated system during these hot summer months, check out the link in our bio! 🥵 .
.
.
.
.
.
.
#summerheat #tuesdaytransformation #tuesdaymotivation #transformationtuesday #tuesdaymorning #tuesdaymotivation #yogalifestyle #yogaliving #yogadiet #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife 
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #balancediet #createbalance #createhealthyhabits #ayurvedalifestyle #ayurvedaeveryday #ayurveda #ayurvedicfood #ayurvedicmedicine
Receive fresh content delivered to your inbox every week!