Feeling sleepy after doing exercises or yoga is quite normal. If you want to know “can I sleep after doing yoga” then you can get all your answers here.
Physical activity helps us boost our energy since doing any form of exercise increases the rate of blow flow and our heart rate and makes us feel energetic and awake. This is a benefit that we get from working out.
Since physical activity also requires a lot of energy and stamina, there is also a possibility that you may feel tired after an exercise, particularly after workouts of high-intensity.
Apart from feeling tired after completing your workout, you may feel the need to take some rest or a nap. One of the exercises adopted is yoga which is adopted for various reasons such as fitness, stress relief, weight loss, and overall health and wellbeing.
It is also practiced to counter the so-called ‘lifestyle diseases’ such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. Yoga involves many poses and breathing techniques and can make a person feel sleepy after their workout sessions.
In the article below, we will discuss whether we can sleep after doing yoga.
Why Am I So Tired After Yoga?
Yoga helps relax your mind, body, muscles and takes you to the state of meditation. This is the primary reason you feel sleepy after yoga. Generally, feeling drowsy after an exercise isn’t concerning as the feeling of tiredness is normal after physical exertion.
This happens mostly after you have done some intense workouts where energy levels fall after a high-intensity training or after a long run, whereas lighter workouts such as going for a walk won’t tire you. Our bodies are different, and so are our energy levels. Our energy levels are dependent on various factors such as,
- Type of exercise
- Fitness level
- Hydration level in your body
- Intensity, duration, and how frequent your exercises are
- Medical conditions
- For how long you slept the previous night
To understand if we can sleep after yoga, we need to understand post-workout sleepiness.
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Post Workout Sleepiness
Feeling sleepy post-workout is the normal way of our body reacting to performing any physical activity that left your body sore or tired.
Every time we exercise, our muscles contract repeatedly, and for these contractions, ATP or adenosine triphosphate is used to produce it. ATP or adenosine triphosphate is a type of molecule whose task it is to provide energy to your cells.
There is a decrease in the ATP levels as we continue to work out, reducing your muscle’s functioning ability, leading to muscle fatigue or peripheral fatigue.
When you exercise the CNS Or the central nervous system of your body has a role to play, where the CNS fires signals repetitively which helps with your muscles activation. This firing, however, reduces and becomes less charged with the prolonged workout.
Adding on further, the exercise increases various neurotransmitters, which include serotonin and dopamine. The changes to these reduce the CNS’ capacity to activate muscles and lead to fatigue. Due to this, you will feel that you are tired and would want to sleep.
Let us now take the Pros and Cons of considering sleeping post-workout.
Pros Of Sleeping Post-Exercise
Advantages of resting after a session of workout are:
- Increased mental alertness: Sleeping after completing your exercise can provide a boost of mental energy. Waking up early for a workout and then sleeping makes you feel less tired.
- Reducing sleep deprivation: If you are sleep deprived, it can slow down your immune system, hamper recovery of your muscles post workout and even reduce your cognitive functions. All of this eventually leads to a poor performance in athletics. Sleeping after a workout helps you catch up on your sleep and thus reduces the effect sleep deprivation has on your body.
- Lowers physical fatigue: Sleepiness post workout means you are suffering from muscle fatigue. But if you take a nap after completing your workout it reassures muscle recovery and reduces fatigue. This helps out in going through the day.
- Muscle recovery: Sleeping after exercise helps in supporting muscle recovery. While sleeping, the pituitary gland releases a growth hormone. Muscles require this hormone to build and repair tissues. Thus, it makes it essential for deriving benefits from physical activity, athletic performance, and necessary for muscle growth.
Cons Of Sleeping After Exercise
Some of the drawbacks of sleeping after completing a workout are,
- Disruption in sleeping at night: Though napping can decrease sleep debt, it can affect your night sleep negatively. It might give you trouble falling asleep later at night, and those with a sleep disorder would worsen their symptoms. It is essential to talk to a doctor if one feels the urge to take naps regularly.
- Poor sleep quality: Exercising leads to an increase in body temperature and endorphins. The changes induced by exercise can lead to keeping your body and brain awake. That is why it is advised to avoid having a workout session just before going to bed. This might lead to difficulty in getting quality sleeping. You have to determine if taking naps post-workout are the right thing for you.
- Grogginess: Taking a nap for a long time would enter you into deeper states of sleep. You might feel dizzy or disoriented when waking up. The feeling which is sleep inertia can last for about 30 minutes after waking up.
Things To Take Care Of
You can sleep immediately after doing yoga by keeping these things in mind:
- While doing yoga in the morning, you must rest in the Shavasana post the yoga practice. You can sleep straight away after taking a rest in Shavasana.
- If you haven’t eaten anything, you can sleep immediately after your yoga practice, but if you prefer to have meals between your yoga practice and sleep, you would have to wait for an hour before having your meals and give an hour for your food to digest.
- There are many yoga poses or asanas which can be performed before bedtime to calm the body and mind. This aids in inducing a satisfying and restful sleep. The common asana or poses to be performed are
- Balasana – Childs Pose
- Uttanasana – Forward bend
- Supta Baddha-Konasana – Reclining bound angle pose
- Viparitkarani – Legs up the wall pose
- Furthermore, pranayama or breathing techniques help in improving the quality of sleep. Pranayama is a simple exercise involving the slowing down of breath and heart rate, further taking the body in a restful state. This exercise comprises four counts of inhaling, holding the breath in for seven counts, and exhaling for eight. This practice can be done within a few minutes, with normal breaths being taken as needed.
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Answers To More Commonly Asked Questions
Is it necessary to take a rest after yoga?
Taking rest after yoga is to be done by going into the Shavasana pose. You should give rest in between the yoga poses as well as after completion of it. By resting, you can regain your energy for performing other yoga poses or completing the entire workout.
What should I do immediately after yoga?
After completing yoga, you should do the following,
- Shavasana, which is the final resting pose. The pose helps you cool down and take in everything learned from your class. It helps in respiration, blood pressure regulation, decreases heart rate, and helps in concentration and focus.
- After completing your yoga class, clean your yoga mat as it helps in hygiene and keeps the mat clean.
- Take a shower as it helps in hygiene and cleans the toxins released from sweat.
- Take something to eat and drink like fruits, nuts, and seeds and keep your body well hydrated with water or natural coconut water.
What should I avoid after yoga?
Avoid having sugary meals and foods rich in carbohydrates which spike your blood sugar instantly.
Is doing yoga at night bad?
Doing yoga at night is alright as long as you are not tired. If you haven’t eaten anything, you can sleep immediately after your yoga practice, but if you prefer to have meals between your yoga practice and sleep, you would have to wait for an hour before having your meals and give an hour for your food to digest.