Difficulty Sleeping After A Hard Ride

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by defeattheapexbat, Jul 4, 2015.

  1. defeattheapexbat

    defeattheapexbat New Member

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    Sadly, for a number of reasons I haven't been able to ride very often this winter. Over the past four months I've gotten out maybe 20 times. [​IMG] Now that we have an extra hour of daylight in the evenings, I'm trying to get back up to the 3-5 rides a week I had been doing last year. My LBS has a group ride on Mondays but only two of us showed last night and the other guy is a stronger cyclist than I am. I worked my @$$ keeping up with him and stayed close most of the time although I think he held himself back some so that he wouldn't lose me in his dust. I did enjoy being pushed by him, though. All in all, it was a satisfying, gratifying ride.

    I didn't feel trashed at the end of the ride (28 miles) although I certainly put forth far more effort than I have recently. I got home at 7:30, ate dinner (pretty typical time), and headed off to bed by around 9:30 or 10:00. I fell asleep quickly but about an hour later got up tossing and turning and that went on for a long time. I didn't really settle back into a deep sleep until maybe 2:00 or 3:00. I was tired but not noticeably sore. But the thing is ... this happens a lot. I've tried taking Advil PM or that sort of thing and it usually keeps me asleep through the night but not last night. I really don't want to rely on that sort of med - even if it is an over-the-counter med - to help me stay asleep.

    What causes this? Do any of you experience something similar? What's the "cure"? Do you know of any non-med home remedies that could help me out?
     
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  2. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature New Member

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    I tend to try to do any energetic (for me) rides early in the day, otherwise, I can get into the same situation.

    Ironically, I often take a nap after a ride, so I don't usually have trouble falling to sleep, it is staying asleep through the night.

    If I do an activity that taxes my arthritic knees, there can be the issue of pain keeping me awake, but that is not the only time sleep is interrupted.

    I have actually taken Advil PM, and at least once just felt drugged while tossing and turning.

    I am mostly posting here in case someone else has a non-drug solution...

    However, in this case, it could be a combination of the intense effort along with your body not being acclimated to the time change. After all, as far as your body is concerned, you went to sleep at 8:30-9:00, possibly too early by your internal clock. I hate time switches, as they always throw me off for a while.
     
  3. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear New Member

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    Personally, I'd chalk it up to the fact that you haven't done strenuous exercise in a while. It's known that adrenaline, along with norepinephrine, are released in response to exercise. They are responsible for increasing heart rate, blood flow to muscles, muscle strength, sugar metabolism, and alertness.

    Unfortunately, the very things that make them beneficial for physical activity can also make it hard to sleep. I'd say there's a good chance this phenomenon will go away as your fitness increases.
     
  4. tarverten

    tarverten New Member

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    how old are you?
    what is your general state of physical health? (you sound healthy)
    do you only have insomnia evenings after bike rides?
    do you do any other regular exercise?
    Melatonin might help, but I suspect a non supplement/medical solution would be better in the long run
    Jealous for your amount of riding! Good job! I know you think it's not much, but as a fair-weather NE rider, I am quite envious!
     
  5. Totalarmordestine

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    I'm the opposite ... the night after a strenuous ride, I sleep like a log.

    But you might try things like these in the time between the end of your ride and bedtime ...

    -- go for a cool-down walk & stretch

    -- have a hot shower or bath to relax the muscles

    -- do not consume caffeine after 6 pm ... or maybe even earlier

    -- drink water and/or a relaxing tea

    -- eat carbs

    -- take magnesium daily ... the daily recommended dose, not more

    -- in the evening, an hour or two before bed, turn the lights in the house down low

    -- in the last hour or so before bed, turn off the TV and computer, and read
     
  6. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay New Member

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    This is what I have learned since I have the same problem and is has not gone away but, I have learned how to control it.
    Don't use any GU or other caffine shots before or while riding.
    After your ride, when you eat. Small amounts and NOTHING heavy. Believe or not, Salad is heavy. Greens take time for the stomach to digest.
    Once your done eating, don't just sit or lie around. Do something before you go to bed, something simple like maybe cleaning. What happens is, it takes about 2hrs for your body to start digesting your food (hence why you wake up in a couple hours after you lie down.
    DON'T take a hot shower. i have learned it brings my body temp up and it never seems to come down. Take a cool or if you can stand it a COLD shower before you go to bed.
    Last thing I can remember which was really simple and never thought about it. YOUR SHEETS! If you are sleeping with a comforter and a sheet when you go to bed, you body temp is getting to hot. So when you go to bed just use the thin sheet and you will get a good nights rest. I have had this problem and went to doctors with no help. So I just started doing little things and watching the results. I also did some of the stuff Machka suggeted and it has helped. If I think of anything else I will update or feel free to PM me.
    Oh, NO RED SAUCE of any kind ie: ketchup, pasta sauce etc ect ect. It actually agitates your stomach.
    Forgive my sp, I at work and this got to long lol
     
  7. Lizel

    Lizel Active Member

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    I never had such difficulties, on the contrary when I'm tired I fall asleep very fastly.
     
  8. DancingLady

    DancingLady Member

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    You probably have a lot of endorphins in your system after a long ride. Endorphins can definitely energize you and make sleep difficult. Try changing the time of day you ride. It might be that you need to ride in the mornings so your body has time to finish the afterburn and fully process the endorphins before you try to relax and sleep.
     
  9. ZXD22

    ZXD22 Member

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    I noticed this too. It would get a bit hard for me to sleep after long rides as well. It's difficult to explain though so I guess your not the only one!
     
  10. Lizel

    Lizel Active Member

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    Maybe try getting some sleeping pills to make it easier to fall asleep? :)
     
  11. JSWin

    JSWin Member

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    Really? I've done 28+ miles 6 days a week. I sleep like a rock. Drugs aren't going to help you in fact they could be part of the cause. There could be a withdrawal effect. All that fresh air you should be sleeping soundly.

    Make sure you go to bed before midnight. There is a new cycle of sleep after that time so It can be harder. Between 10-11:30pm is best or earlier. Eat as healthy as possible especially a ton of greens. If you wake up go eat some salad or even just a few pieces of lettuce. Should put you out. However make sure there is enough of this during the day. Greens really help with sleep. Stretching and yoga is great. If you can't seem to sleep just get up and go for the stretch in your living room or something. The relaxing yoga moves help. I always get extra sleep from this if my mind and body are too active. Don't do any heavy weight lifting in a gym after 4pm either. This can make brain activity so high you can't sleep. Do that during the day. Only cardio after 4pm.
     
  12. Keyan

    Keyan Member

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    If the ride is quite strenuous I am really expecting some pain so what I do is I take a warm bath before I go to bed. I normally sleep soundly after a ride. I am not a fan of taking medicine though even if they are safe to take. I only take them when necessary but I do not overdo it
     
  13. bsthebenster

    bsthebenster New Member

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    That's odd; I can't sleep if I don't excersize. One thing I have read into, however, is the effect on sleep from excersize within a short amount of time (I believe two hours, but don't quote me on that). It seems that timing is everything, make sure not to get to physical in any way whatsoever right before bed.
     
  14. JSWin

    JSWin Member

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    Change your diet. Kick the sleeping pills. They will mess you up even more. Its more than likely something you ate that didn't agree with you. I would say something you had at dinner time. 2 or 3 am was about the 7 hour mark since you probably ate dinner. It got absorbed. An allergy or food sensitivity, or some kind of chemical in the food unless you eat really clean.
     
  15. likeascroll

    likeascroll Member

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    Yes diet does affect how you sleep. But how much time do you give yourself to wind down after a ride? You should give yourself plenty of time to wind down before bed. Maybe try listening to relaxing music as well.
     
  16. Susimi

    Susimi Well-Known Member

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    I'm almost an opposite, as in after a really long ride I'll sleep quite well during the night.

    However there have been days where that's not reall been the case but it sometimes varies.
     
  17. sunshiney

    sunshiney Member

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    The same thing happens to me if I don't leave myself enough time to wind down after a ride. I try to time my longer rides so that I get home in the afternoon and have some time to relax before bed.

    Yoga always works for me, since it's very slow and relaxing and helps me get into a calm state of mind. Sometimes I'll take a swim and then spend a bit of time in the hot tub or sauna. Anything that helps me slow down a bit before I go to bed, otherwise like you I'll find myself tossing and turning in an hour. If I do end up like that, getting out of bed and going for a little walk or reading for a bit is a lot more effective in getting back to sleep than laying there getting stressed because I'm still up.
     
  18. Djordje87

    Djordje87 Member

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    Sometimes after a long and hard ride I get nasty headaches. The result is usually inability to sleep and I just try to hydrate and take a good rest. Several glasses of water usually do the trick but some pain killers also if needed. This is not something that happens all the time but it is not a pleasant thing when it does happen. That is when I go more than I physically can. So, when I push my body over the limits.
     
  19. pwarbi

    pwarbi Well-Known Member

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    Personally I'd just put it down to the adrenaline in your body. After a ride I try to wind down before I get into bed because a few times it's happened to me when, for one reason or another I've got home late from a ride, showered and more or less got straight in to bed and I've been unable to sleep.

    I put that down to the body still being invigorated by the exercise, so maybe try and cycle a bit sooner?
     
  20. moneyman

    moneyman Member

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    I have had the same trouble as you described in your post however I have resolved it by not riding just before you are planning to go the bed. I ride so that I am home two hours before going to bed to get sleep a lot easier.
     
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