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I've been going to gym for more than 10 years (I far away from being professional though). Recently (about 0.5 - 1 year) I've started noticing, that often after gym I can't fall asleep. Even if I really want to, even if I feel really tired and sleepy.

Most of the articles I read are talking about working out just before going to bed, but in my case it is not like this.

For example yesterday I had a "gym day" after couple of weeks vacation. I went there at 5 p.m. and finished already at about 5.40 p.m. It wasn't too extensive or hard. After workout I drank a gainer and ate a dinner after couple of hours (at about 7.30 p.m.). At about 9 p.m. I drank a tea with some cake :$ (when I don't go to the gym and drink tea in the evening it does not affect me). And at 10:30 I have turned the lights of in my bedroom. I could't fall asleep until about 1 a.m. and after it was not quite clear if I was sleeping or not.

I doubt it is something to do with my nervous system, but I am not sure how to deal with this problem. Any advice or opinion is greatly appreciated.

Update after 8 months: an amazing thing I've discovered for myself after consulting with my doctor is simple Magnesium - helps to calm down/relax and fall asleep. Also has some other valuable characteristics for your muscles. Google, read, check with your doctor and try it!

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    Maybe it is the sugar from tea/cake? Tea also has caffeine in it, some contain more, some contain less. A random site that shows the caffeine content in different teas mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/…
    – s3v3ns
    Commented Mar 31, 2015 at 11:50
  • Thank you for the suggestion. I will try tomorrow to go to the gym and not drinking tea after that. Though, I think sometimes I don't go to the gym and I can fall asleep properly even after drinking tea/eating in the late evening.
    – Alex K.
    Commented Mar 31, 2015 at 12:18

2 Answers 2

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Don't working-out right before trying to sleep.

Most people need a couple of hours to cool-down after exerting themselves before they'll be ready to sleep. In your case, it appears that has been fulfilled - 5:45 to 10:30 should be plenty of time for your body to ramp-down and be ready for sleep.

Unless, of course, you consumed a stimulant like caffeine. Depending on what type of tea, how much you drank, and what your caffeine tolerance is, that's a much more likely candidate than the workout.

Skip the tea/coffee/soda in the evening. Frankly, you can probably get rid of it altogether and you might feel better. (After the withdrawal symptoms pass that is...)

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  • I see your point. It is definitely reasonable and I will try to avoid that. What I was also hoping for - is to get an opinion on the topic about the nervous system - if it is over trained or under a high pressure - can it affect the quality of a sleep or not. I have these doubts due to at some nights after pretty hard workout I was experiencing really bad pain in the middle of my chest. Google said, that it might be a problem of tired nervous system.
    – Alex K.
    Commented Mar 31, 2015 at 18:14
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    Part of the problem is that we have no clue how exerting your 45 minute workout was. We're random fitness-people on the internet reading a handful of words describing your issue, so it's difficult to get a handle on it. Did you do weight lifting, cardio, yoga, stretching, pilates, crossfit, or anything else? If you lifted weights, what sort of set/rep protocol did you use? Did you go for strength or volume? Did you hit any personal-records? There's LOTS of stuff we don't know, so it's very hard to say if it was the exercise that caused the problem.
    – john3103
    Commented Mar 31, 2015 at 18:47
  • That is true. It is not possible to give any specific advice for this problem, this is why I was hoping for some general thoughts/information sources about nervous system exhaustion and if it can affect quality of a sleep. Concerning your further questions: I did a weight lifting with about 60%-70% of my max weight in pretty relaxed style, having 1 - 1.5 minutes of rest between series and did in total something like 5 - 6 series per each exercise and around 5 - 6 exercises in total. I know, that it should not actually be a big deal, but I've been feeling tired for a long time now.
    – Alex K.
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 13:12
  • @AlexG did you check out your chest pain with your doctor? Different problems can cause chest pain and only your doctor can diagnose it for you. Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 19:07
  • @BackInShapeBuddy not yet unfortunatelly:(
    – Alex K.
    Commented Apr 5, 2015 at 11:51
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Caffeine is also known to increase blood pressure, coupled with the stress from your workout could impact your sleep.

It could also be from certain sugars in the gainer that your drinking after the workout. Try removing it and see if you feel any better.

The only way your going to find out what is really impacting your sleeping pattern is to try different variations to the activities during your day: such as just aerobic workout instead of anaerobic, length of time of workout, time and type of meal etc.

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  • I think you are right and probably the+chocolate cake was the core of the problem this time. After that I never drank a tea in the evening and was sleeping much better.
    – Alex K.
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 17:43
  • Can you provide a reference for your caffeine assertion? While it may be common knowledge, a link or corroborating reference would make your answer better.
    – JohnP
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 22:56

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