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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 09-04-2008, 09:24 AM   #1
James Neuman
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Do you exercise after a bad night sleep?

I'm a chronic insomniac, even though I'm pretty well-educated about the basic steps to better sleep. Sometimes this means that my plans to exercise early in the morning (during the week, I workout at 6:15 am, because that's the only time that works in my schedule) go awry.

For example, a couple of times this week I got about 3-4 hours of sleep, if not less. Then I slept in a half hour longer or so and skipped the workout, which just made me feel awful the rest of the day. In retrospect, I usually think I should have just worked out as planned.

I wonder, though, whether this depends on the type of exercise involved. In other words, is there a certain type of routine that absolutely should not be done on very little sleep, while other routines are ok? Maybe there's a particular risk in lifting heavy weight while sleep-deprived?

Any thoughts?

(I know the real solution is simply to conquer the insomnia, but realistically, that ain't happening any time soon.)
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:30 AM   #2
Jason David
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Re: Do you exercise after a bad night sleep?

I used to NOT work out on those days...but then I figured it wouldn't kill me. And I wouldn't have to deal with the guilt.
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:48 AM   #3
Benjamin Walsh
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Re: Do you exercise after a bad night sleep?

I often have trouble sleeping. I don't let it interfere with my workout schedule unless I have short sleep for a few days in a row and I feel like I'm losing my mind or getting sick. Even on those days, I usually do something not too taxing on the old CNS, and some heavy stretching. I sleep better on days I exercise, so not working out compounds the problem. I guess my rule of thumb is: if something will increase my chances of getting sick, don't do it. Otherwise, rock on.
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:48 AM   #4
Jason Peacock
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Re: Do you exercise after a bad night sleep?

I'll skip a workout b/c I went to bed too late and I need the extra hour of sleep (still have to be awake for work), but I don't see lack of sleep itself as a blocker to doing your workout. Or being hungover

Sometimes you have a crappy workout, but I believe that anything is better than nothing, and a lack of sleep won't make your workout suddenly result in negative gains. With all that said, if you're actually tired enough that you're making mistakes that will hurt yourself or others then it's time to skip it.
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Old 09-04-2008, 10:36 AM   #5
Kevin Perry
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Re: Do you exercise after a bad night sleep?

Dear Fellow-Chronic Insomiac

- Go by how you feel. If you can get the energy in that day then complete your workout but if you just don't have he energy, skip and rest and focus on trying to get in the sleep the following night. Naps during the day also do wonders.

Look to your nutrition too. Some foods have effect on your sleep and energy levels different then others, try and find what helps you sleep better. Snacks can be important pre and post workout as well.

Also, im not sure if you see a sleep doctor or not but if your sleep i really affecting you go see one or try some herbal remedies like teas to help relax you at night. Also controlled breathing techniques can aid in curing insomnia throughout the night mainly deep and controlled breathes in through the nose and steady release out through the mouth.

Unfortunately for us, te body only grows during sleep so you must do your best to solve the insomnia and aid with nutrition and litening to your body.

Good luck
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Old 09-04-2008, 11:15 AM   #6
Ryan Whipple
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Re: Do you exercise after a bad night sleep?

I see two sides to this.

Pros: Tiring yourself out the next day can mean better sleep the following night.

Cons: You're not getting rest and recovery, negating many benefits of the workout.

Generally, I take the first mindset when I'm tired/not sleeping well, and the second when I'm sick/stressed/too busy. My thought is, don't compound the problems I already have!
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:26 PM   #7
Victor Putz
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Re: Do you exercise after a bad night sleep?

Yeah, depends. I go day by day. If it's a really bad sleep day, I may still feel up to working out, which means I'll probably sleep better that night. I never sleep in extra--it just doesn't ever seem to do much good. I almost always wake up at the same time anyway.
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:51 PM   #8
Harry Palley
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Re: Do you exercise after a bad night sleep?

This may be a great time to work on form. There's always something to tune up.
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Old 09-04-2008, 04:41 PM   #9
Steven Anderson
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Re: Do you exercise after a bad night sleep?

I usually workout if sleep deprived. I work as a firefighter/paramedic (shift work) and sometimes don't get to sleep at all. If I'm up all night running calls, the workout is usually easier because I'm still running off adrenaline (and probably just a little giddy from the lack of sleep anyway) and ridiculous amounts of coffee (with cream and sugar, SORRY ZONERS).

If I don't workout on days like this and go straight to bed I always regret it later in the day. I'd rather workout on little to no sleep and then take a nap later in the day. Eh, I am a fireman though and have "that" kind of schedule, so...

Also, IMO, working out on little to no sleep and other various factors helps build mental toughness if nothing else.
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Old 09-04-2008, 04:56 PM   #10
David Sailor
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Re: Do you exercise after a bad night sleep?

I will work out even if sleep deprived and I find that I usually sleep better that night afterwards. I do find that while I may suffer somewhat on a metcon performance, lack of sleep usually doesn't affect a heavy weight day. There have been nights when I've headed down to the gym not feeling all that energized but still able to pull off a PR or close to it. Like was said above, I also feel crappy and in a worse mood if I skip the work out.
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