Do you feel bouncy and energetic on your way to the gym but dog tired on your way back? Does a long and strenuous session of workout leave you drained and down on your feet…wanting to take a quick nap to regain the lost energy? If you are wondering why your regular workout makes you sleepy and exhausted then read on to find out where you are going wrong and how can you fix the issue.
5 reasons that make you sleepy after a workout
Sleep helps to build and heal the body while recharging your brain for a fresh day ahead. It can be closely compared to the overhauling of a large factory machine around which most of the production concentrates. Sleep refurbishes the damaged tissues and muscles and restores the freshness and zeal to face another beautiful day. It is your daily dose of relaxation and rejuvenation that also stimulates the growth of your body cells.
Lack of sleep can leave you feeling groggy and exhausted. Adequate sleep of 6-8 hours is recommended for proper regain of energy and muscle strength. In case you are sleeping less or suffering from any sleeping disorder, your body does not get its due stock of energy and the muscles feel weak and strained, leaving you sapped and worn out after a physical workout session that demands burning off extra energy.
Tips: Follow a regular sleep schedule with a set bedtime and wakeup time. Take rest or small naps throughout the day to keep your body charged. If you go for a workout early in the morning, ensure that you go to bed early so that you complete your sleep marathon of 8 hours and are geared for the physical exertion. In case you had a bad night and you wake up sleepy and less fresh, try to postpone your workout session later in the day so that you get a chance to catch a small nap and make up for the sleep-deprived at night.
A machine works best when it is properly fuelled and taken care of. Similarly, your body needs to be fuelled adequately before and after a workout session. The fats and sugar in your food are broken down and converted into energy during physical activity. If you are heading empty stomach to the gym, your body has no resources to work on, as a result, the workout at gym will sap the stored energy of your muscles leaving you to feel weak and drowsy after the drilling session. Therefore, following the popular myth that working out on an empty stomach is more beneficial can cause your body more harm than good.
Tip: Fuel your body with a light, low carb meal at least 2-3 hours before the workout session. Biting into a banana or relishing a cup of oats or yogurt before a workout session will give your body requisite fats and carbohydrates to burn and produce a good flow of energy. Similarly, after the workout session try a good protein shake or a cup of low-fat milk yogurt to make up for the lost energy and keep you charged rather than making you fall on your feet.
Seeing yourself sweat-out on the treadmill can be encouraging. But what if it leaves you weary and sapped after the workout session? Since more than half of our body weight is made up of water, restocking it water from time to time is important, more so before, during, and after a vigorous workout session. Water in our body helps to break down nutrients, cools and cleanses the body, and releases energy in the form of sweat. Not drinking enough water can leave you dehydrated, feeling wearied and sleepy after the workout.
Tip: Doctors recommend drinking at least 7-8 ounces of water 20-30 minutes before your workout session and a similar quantity during and after the session. Carry a good gym bottle or one with proper markings to help you know your water intake and keep sipping the liquid gold both before and after the workout session. It will keep your energy level up and make up for the lost sweat. In case you are planning a long workout session, supplement the water with some electrolytes to compensate for all the sodium and potassium that you sweat out at the drilling machines.
If you are aiming at elevated fitness levels and subjecting your body to a high-intensity workout, then your body is most likely to feel wearied and exhausted after the session. Yes, while short workout sessions leave you energized, long physical workouts can drain your energy making you feel drowsy and sleepy, especially for beginners.
Tips: Start slow with shorter duration of workouts, spaced out evenly with hot and cold periods of activity. Plan your workouts with different physical exercises for short spans of 30 minutes and gradually increase the time, depending upon your stamina and body needs. Try seeking help from a gym instructor or someone experienced to know the right balance of workout that increases your body energy rather than wearing you down.
Underlying medical condition:
You may be following all the rules of workout and yet feeling sapped of energy and lethargic after your workout session. If it is so, then maybe a medical condition like unstipulated blood sugar, hypertension or thyroid disorder may be working adversely on your body cells.
Tip: Seek help from a medical practitioner to know and get your medical condition diagnosed. With a proper diagnosis, you can get back to the gym and resume your workout sessions without feeling sleepy or worn out.
So, Should you nap after a workout session?
Well, the answer to this most sought after question depends upon your needs and the purpose why you are indulging in the physical activity. If you are working out to feel rejuvenated and energised then taking a nap afterwards may not be a good idea and you need to work on the above-discussed points. However, if you are taking up a workout session late in the evening or to burn out fat and invite sleep taking a nap or going to sleep is perfect. A little nap is always recommended for giving your body the much needed time to relax and repair the ruptured muscles.
Follow your inner call and see what your body demands. Your body serves you best only when you submit to its needs of refuel and rest!