Can’t Sleep After CrossFit? Can CrossFit Cause Insomnia?

Yes, CrossFit can cause insomnia.

Training and fitness can help you sleep better, but too much of it can cause insomnia and poor quality of sleep. CrossFit is an example of a fitness schedule that promotes high intensity.

CrossFit is a trademarked exercise routine that consists of constantly varied functional motions performed at high intensity. These and other cardio-based workouts put a lot of load on your body. This article will explain what CrossFit exercises are, why you won’t sleep after them, and what to do if you do.

What is CrossFit ?

CrossFit is a rapidly developing fitness and strength program. Lessons are offered in over 13,000 places globally. CrossFit is unique because it does not focus on a single program, like weightlifting or aerobics. CrossFit focuses on cardiorespiratory fitness (including stamina), muscular strength and endurance (including flexibility), power (including speed and agility), balance, coordination, and accuracy.

CrossFit can be done at home or in a CrossFit gym called a box. CrossFit also distributes daily workouts on its website called Workout of the Day (WOD).

What sort of workouts are CrossFit?

You may be wondering what precisely is expected of you during CrossFit workouts. In terms of structure, CrossFit workouts are more like pumped-up ordinary actions. Crouching, tugging, and pushing are examples. This is a great way to build muscle and burn fat. This is not like expert routines that tell you how many reps to do in a specific time frame.

CrossFit exercises are done 3–5 times a week. These workouts last 5–15 minutes, with short breaks between exercises. Push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups are all used in CrossFit. CrossFit also uses medicine balls, climbing ropes, jump ropes, and rowing machines.

Which hormonal changes occur during Crossfit workouts?

Hormones secreted during exercise boost hepatic glucose synthesis while reducing muscle glucose consumption. This permits you to work out longer.

The intensity and duration of these exercises affect hormone levels released into the circulation. Intensive activity, such as strong resistance training and sprinting, induces a rapid rise in blood glucose and an exaggerated release of hormones, according to Sheri Colberg-Ochs, an exercise hormone expert.

CrossFit workouts feature high-intensity movements that spike hormone levels such as adrenaline and norepinephrine, which are released by the sympathetic nervous system in response to physical or mental stimuli. Stress hormones such as glucagon, growth hormone, and cortisol are also released.

What are the causes of insomnia after CrossFit workouts?

Mayoclinic describes insomnia as a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep.

CrossFitters may encounter insomnia after rigorous workouts. This post-exercise sleepiness may have multiple causes. Here are a few reasons why you could have trouble sleeping after CrossFit.

1. Hormonal changes

Stress and anxiety get promoted by adrenaline and noradrenaline. Put another way, they make it easy to work out but harder to relax and sleep. You may feel overheated, have a pounding heart, and have difficulties relaxing.

Resistance training also promotes the release of cortisol, which helps to raise blood glucose levels, giving your muscles more energy. Cortisol levels rise during the day and fall at night. Cortisol, the main stress hormone, helps you cope with daily tasks, including strenuous workouts. As a result, cortisol levels can remain elevated throughout the night due to workout intensity. Too much cortisol at night can make it difficult to relax and sleep.

2. Training Too Close To Bedtime

Timing is crucial in CrossFit. CrossFit exercising close to bedtime might make it tough to wind down. 

While exercises like high-intensity interval training might help improve sleep quality, some people find it difficult to sleep afterward, according to Hannah Daugherty of Fitter Living. Stress hormones may not diminish quickly enough.

Bedtime training can make you hungry. Going to bed hungry will likely interrupt your sleep. Snacking before night, however, might cause bloating and disrupt sleep.

3. Overtraining

CrossFit can put a lot of strain on your muscles, joints, and ligaments. If you don’t provide enough time for recuperation, these workouts can easily lead to overexertion and straining of muscles and ligaments.

Injuries following CrossFit training may cause pain, making it difficult for you to fall asleep or find a comfortable sleeping position, limiting sleep duration and quality.

4. Dehydration and high core temperature

Dehydration can develop during CrossFit exercises and cause sleeplessness in several ways. When your body has less fluid, your heart works harder to pump blood. As a result, you become aware of your heartbeat while attempting to sleep. Dehydration also makes it difficult for your body to control its core temperature since the natural cooling process does not function as well as it should.

5. Caffeine/alcohol

The intense workout sessions may lead you to feel tired. Caffeine seems to give some people an extra lift. This increase may be brief, demanding more caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause insomnia.

Alcohol relaxes the throat muscles when sleeping. This can induce snoring and breathing issues. As a result, you may have a night of poor sleep at night and be tired all day.

6. Anxiety

CrossFitters, according to Rx Review, can be very competitive. As a CrossFitter, you may desire to beat the clock or finish a certain number of tasks in a short time. This can cause worries and anxiety. The resulting stress might impair your sleep.

7. Technology in bed

Exposure to technological light is another activity contributing to sleeplessness among gym enthusiasts. In the dark, utilizing electronic media devices such as cell phones and tablets might cause a delay in the production of melatonin, the hormone that initiates sleep. These screens emit blue light, which might cause cortisol levels to rise.

What are strategies to help you sleep after Crossfit workouts?

Now that you are aware of the causes of insomnia among CrossFitters and gym-goers, let us look at some of the measures you may use to get a good sleep after a long day at the gym. Your goal should be to sleep for 9 to 10 hours a day.

The Do’s

  • Aim to finish your workouts before dusk. This allows you to take advantage of the peak in stress hormones while also allowing them to return to normal before your sleeping time.
  • Stop smoking and abstain from using other tobacco products.
  • At night, make sure your room is dark, quiet, and chilly. Light, hot temperatures, and noise may make you sleep poorly.
  • Get in the habit of eating nutritious foods at the proper times. This includes food timing. Eat 2 hours before bedtime to avoid bloating. Drink plenty of water during and after CrossFit exercises.
  • Begin with a manageable schedule and gradually raise your CrossFit sessions’ difficulty. Warm up appropriately before doing any of these workouts. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments are less stressed. Knowing how to treat the calluses on fingers helps reduce pain.

The Don’ts

  • Avoid caffeinated products as much as possible. Caffeine-containing drinks act as nervous system stimulants that might interfere with sleep.
  • Drinking alcohol within 3 hours of going to bed is not recommended. This helps prevent the breathing difficulties associated with alcohol’s muscle-relaxing effect on the throat.
  • Do not be overly competitive in your evening WODs. Being intensely competitive raises your stress hormone levels and disrupts your sleep. To relax, try some breathing techniques.

Conclusion

CrossFit workouts are high-intensity functional motions that drain your energy. Hormonal shifts, dehydration, and overtraining are some of the causes of sleeplessness in CrossFitters after these exercises. Keeping hydrated, avoiding caffeine/alcohol, and avoiding electronic screens before night will help minimize post-workout insomnia.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CrossFit

https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/crossfit-review

https://www.crossfit.com/

https://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ_Sleep_RawlsMeehan2.pdf

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/what-crossfit-it-right-you-here-s-what-you-need-ncna1070886

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity

https://us.humankinetics.com/blogs/excerpt/understand-hormonal-responses-to-exercise

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355167#:~:text=Insomnia%20is%20a%20common%20sleep,tired%20when%20you%20wake%20up.

https://www.self.com/story/how-being-dehydrated-impacts-your-workouts

https://www.outsideonline.com/health/wellness/can-hard-workout-cause-insomnia/#:~:text=While%20adrenaline%20often%20falls%20back,contributing%20to%20your%20sleepless%20night.

https://www.therxreview.com/7-poor-sleep-habits-common-with-crossfitters/

https://rougecare.ca/blogs/rouge-red-light-therapy-blog/red-light-therapy-for-sleep-the-safe-and-natural-way-to-better-rest

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-54806-7

https://www.mattressadvisor.com/sleep-and-fitness/

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/can-exercising-at-night-hurt-your-sleep#:~:text=For%20most%20people%2C%20however%2C%20exercising,when%20they%20didn’t%20exercise.

https://trainright.com/cant-sleep-hard-workout-race/

https://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=25960

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