10 tips to put post-exercise insomnia to bed and get you sleepin’ easy

Stop the tossing and turning of post-exercise insomnia with these 10 tips!

post-exercise insomnia

Even after a knackering run, sometimes you just can’t drift off. Your heads on the pillow but your minds still running at ten thousand percent. Many of us think that exercise will tire us out and send us into a deep hibernation, but is this always true? We look at 10 ways to combat post-exercise insomnia.

Post-exercise insomnia is far more common than you may think. It’s where the body is still in overdrive and means it can be hard for you to shut down before bed.

Infographic created for the Sleep Matter clubs.
Sleep easy.
10 tips to sleep easy!
Get a routine

One of the best ways to avoid restless nights is to get your body use to it. This isn’t something that will happen straight away but if you’re working on a long-term training plan you should probably expect your first few nights to be a tad more restless than usual.


We preach this a lot and I apologise but hydration is vital. Keeping hydrated can help blunt your bodies cortisol response. Cortisol is hormone found naturally in the human body that controls blood sugar levels, regulates metabolism, helps to reduce inflammation, and assist with memory formulation. It has a controlling effect on salt and water balance and helps control blood pressure.

Exercise three hours before bed

Give your body time to work down.  The body releases all sorts of different hormones around the body that gets you rilled up for exercise. Trying to get some shut eye whilst your bodies going overtime is like going to sea in a sieve.

Infographic created for the Sleep Matter clubs.
Infographic created for the Sleep Matter Clubs.
Watch the pre-work

A caffeine kick might give us that extra buzz we need for a run but think about how long it might be until you hit the hay. Pre-works and caffeine based supplements are an obvious no-no if you wanna get the miles in just before bed, and get a good nights rest.

Go Low

Low-intensity exercise is best done before bed. If your organising your training plan ideally out your slow burning jogs later in the day and your body blasters out the way in the morning.

Cool down

Cooling yourself down before you get to bed naturally tricks the body into a rest mindset. Drink cold water, take a cool shower, wrap yourself in damp towels whatever.

Breathing exercises

Running can help you unburden stress but can also cause the body to release certain hormones, such as cortisol. Taking a moment to get to Zen-mode can help us ready our minds for rest. Breathing exercises are a great way of doing this.


Cue controversy. A little snack before bed would be blasphemy to the ears of some. However, it can be useful. Exercising burns the bodies fuel and generally, it needs to be replenished. A small meal before bed can stop our rumbling tummies giving us our evenings soundtrack but to much might leave us bloated before bed.

Sip a brew

Avoid the caffeine as we mentioned before but a cuppa might not go amiss before bed. Decaffeinated would be preferable but some teas naturally make us more sleepy. A cup of Chamomile or Valerian might take the biscuit for our tossing and turning problems.

Cool down your sleep space

We’re keeping things cool. Once you’ve cooled yourself down getting into a warm bed seems a great idea. Wrong. Both core and skin temperatures decline when you fall asleep, and a cool sleeping environment helps create a temperature gradient that facilitates this process

Joe Tucker
the authorJoe Tucker
Joe is an aspiring fitness journalist looking to get his foot in the industry at jogger.co.uk. A fair-weather runner and sparring sissy who occasionally enjoys rolling down hills ... on two wheels that is. Any story ideas? Feel free to DM him with any ideas.

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