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 blood flow and elevates our heart rate, thus making us feel energetic and awake.
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, you may also feel the need to take some rest or a nap.
Coming specifically to yoga, it is practiced for various reasons such as fitness, stress relief, weight loss, improvement in flexibility 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, and muscles and takes you into a 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 like HIIT or long runs, where energy levels fall. Lighter workouts such as going for a walk or beginner-level exercises 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 – Intensity, duration, and how frequently you exercise
- Fitness level
- Hydration level in your body
- Medical conditions
- Sleep duration and sleep cycle
Let us look at the pros and cons of sleeping after performing yoga.
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Pros Of Sleeping After Performing Yoga
Advantages of resting after a session of workout are:
- Increased mental alertness: Sleeping after completing your yoga practice can provide a boost of mental energy. Waking up early for a workout and then sleeping makes you feel less tired.
- Reduced sleep deprivation: If you are sleep deprived, it can slow down your immune system, hamper recovery of your muscles post your yoga workout and even reduce your cognitive functions. All of this eventually leads to 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 after your yoga practice means you are suffering from muscle fatigue. But if you take a nap after completing your yoga session, it ensures muscle recovery and reduces fatigue. This helps out in going through the day.
- Muscle recovery: Sleeping after exercise helps in supporting muscle recovery. Your pituitary gland releases a growth hormone that helps in building and repairing tissues in your body.
Cons Of Sleeping After Exercise
Some of the drawbacks of sleeping after completing a workout are:
- Reduced nighttime sleep: Though napping can help you recover immediately after practicing yoga, it might give you trouble falling asleep later at night. For those with a sleep disorder, it would worsen their symptoms. It is essential to talk to a doctor if one regularly feels the urge to take naps.
- Poor sleep quality: Immediately after doing an intense yoga practice, your body temperature and endorphins are raised. These changes can keep your body and brain awake. That is why it is advised to avoid doing a workout session just before going to bed, as it might lead to difficulty in getting quality sleep. You have to determine if taking naps post your yoga session is right for you.
- Grogginess: Taking a nap for a long time would make you enter into a deeper sleep state. 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 after your yoga practice and then sleep, you would have to wait for an hour to have your meals after completing your practice and then ideally 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. These aids in inducing a satisfying and restful sleep. The common asana or poses to be performed are Child’s Pose (or Balasana), Forward Bend (or Uttanasana), Reclining Bound Angle Pose (or Supta Baddha Konasana) and Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani Mudra)
- 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 into 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 maintaining hygiene
- Take a shower as it cleans the toxins released from sweat
- Take something to very light to eat 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 from the day you’ve had. If you haven’t eaten anything, you can sleep immediately after your yoga practice, but if you prefer to have meals after 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.