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  1. #1
    archaeologyboy's Avatar
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    Question not sleeping well the night after working out (LHT)

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    Hi all,

    new here, quick intro:
    38, male, 5'11" 75kgs, lean and active (surfing, martial arts) all my life but certainly no athlete, been primal for about 8 months (tho' organic and grass-fed is pretty hard to find where i live)

    My question:
    I've had a repeating problem with not sleeping well the night following a hard weights workout - either I sleep fitfully, or I wake around 2ish or I wake up at 5ish and can't get back to sleep.

    I'm finished working out by 18:30 at the very latest (often more like 17:00) and go to bed around 21:30 so I don't think it's a problem of working out too soon before bed. Weights routine was stronglifts 5x5, tho recently I've just been doing 1 set of all the stronglifts lifts in a single workout once or twice a week.

    The pattern seems to be that if I can stuff enough food into myself at dinnertime I'll sleep properly, but that's hard to do - it feels like no matter how much i eat I can still eat more, it gets a bit ridiculous, and sometimes I'll think "that must be enough by now" but then it isn't and I don't sleep properly. At no point do I really feel 'hungry' as such, all i get is that i can't sleep, but having another plate of dinner seems to help (this has had me eating full meals at 3 in the morning, very inconvenient)

    I've tried IF (skipping breakfast - from leangains) to get my body more used to burning bodyfat - it's worked really well for me (for the first time in my life I can go hours without eating, including working out in a fasted state!) but doesn't seem to have solved the sleep problem.

    A friend suggested I might not be getting enough calories in, so I added fat (mostly olive oil, sometimes coconut oil, also fried eggs) - this helped a bit but I still really needed to stuff myself. Adding more protein had the same effect.

    So after trying fat and protein it occurred to me it might be carbs - maybe having burned all my muscle glycogen I wasn't getting enough in from my low-carb (lots of veg but nothing starchy) meal (does that sound feasible?) so yesterday I tried an experiment and added rice to my meal, and ate until i was comfortably full. And...

    ...I slept really well! But....

    ...my occasional gout in my right big toe has flared up this morning (I've just taken some baking soda in water, we'll see if that does anything). Since this is the first time for this particular conflagration of N=1 variables it could be coincidence, but could this be because of the rice? And if so should I try some other carb source?

    It feels a bit like I've solved one problem but created another, so if anyone can suggest anything (or point out any flaws in my reasoning - I'm a primal novice) I'd be really grateful.

    thanks!
    (and sorry this post is a bit long, I wanted to include all relevant info)

  2. #2
    annedawso's Avatar
    annedawso is offline Senior Member
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    I have had gout once so i feel for you. Are you drinking enough water. I think dehydration contributes to both gout and insomnia.
    Also I know it sounds obvious but are you drinking fizzy drinks , coffee etc within a couple of hrs of bed.
    Also are you eating enough calories? When my husband hasn't he wakes up hungry during the night.

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    i know there are few things more frustrating than shitty sleep after a LHT day.

    maybe this problem is psychological, where, because you want to become very strong, you put extra pressure on yourself to sleep well so you will recover and then you do not react well to this pressure?

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Return of Dado View Post
    maybe this problem is psychological, where, because you want to become very strong, you put extra pressure on yourself to sleep well so you will recover and then you do not react well to this pressure?
    With all due respect, that's about the wackiest post that I've read in my short time here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by counterpuncher View Post
    With all due respect, that's about the wackiest post that I've read in my short time here.
    i don't think it's wacky at all, it happened to me when i first started squatting. i read that you need a lot of sleep, so when i would go to bed to sleep, i would think about getting good, strong sleep, and if i woke up or didn't get just enough, i remember thinking that i fucked up and should do better.

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    Forever Young's Avatar
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    I think that it may also be due to the wallop on your central nervous system if you are training with high intensity. I often experience the same thing. I am dead tired that night and going to sleep isn't remotely a problem. Inevitably though, I wake up around 2 and can't sleep for hours usually. The next night is usually much better though.

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    Gadsie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Return of Dado View Post
    i don't think it's wacky at all, it happened to me when i first started squatting. i read that you need a lot of sleep, so when i would go to bed to sleep, i would think about getting good, strong sleep, and if i woke up or didn't get just enough, i remember thinking that i fucked up and should do better.
    lol yeah eversince I found out how important sleep is for muscle building I sleep 1-2 hrs less on LH days
    Billie trips balls

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    archaeologyboy's Avatar
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    @annedawso - no coffee (or other caffeine) for me after about nine in the morning, and no fizzy drinks or anything ever. Could be dehydration tho', thinking about it I'd had a busy day, gym straight from work, probably hadn't been drinking as much water as normal, including post workout as I had to rush home. Calories? Maybe, but the amount I have to consume to get a good night's sleep is off the scale....but maybe I just need to get my head around eating two full plates and absolutely stuffing myself on workout days.


    @The Return of Dado & @counterpuncher @gadsie - I've had stress-related sleep issues in the past, so I understand where Dado is coming from (and I don't think it is a wacky comment), and I've pressured myself to sleep (and therefore failed) in the past so I know what that's like too. But nowadays I've got a lot of my stress under control and am feeling pretty good about life (and no longer put so much pressure on myself) , so I'm fairly sure that isn't the problem. Also although getting stronger is an important goal, it's not taking over my life, my real goal is to just enjoy my training.

    Anyone any thoughts on the carbs thing? Reading leangains he seems to be suggesting lots of carbs on training days (low on rest days).

    Gout: just did some reading on gout on this forum. I haven't had a clear diagnosis, tho at my last blood test (in June) my uric acid was 9.3 (after 6 months of primal). My swelling and pain is pretty minor, tho' this is the third time it's happened and it does come on overnight and last a few days (and last time I exasperated it by working out - a dehydration problem?). But I'm pretty low on sugar (basically none apart from the occasional piece of fruit) so it's hard to believe that's the problem.

    Or does the rice count as fructose?? I'm a bit confused on this one, are all carbs sugar and therefore fructose? Or are non-sugar carbs just glucose?? Can anyone clarify that point for me?
    Last edited by archaeologyboy; 08-25-2012 at 04:24 PM.

  9. #9
    Jovana's Avatar
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    I have the same problem! After a crossfit workout which usually ends by 6.30 or 7.30 I'm basically buzzing the whole night. I have so much adrenaline through my body it's impossible to sleep at all, all night! I don't understand why (

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