Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

Sleep after a long or hard ride

CorianderCoriander Posts: 1,326
edited July 2008 in Road beginners
Hi,

After a long or hard ride I feel that glorious righteous tiredness you get after physical exertion and can barely keep my eyes open. However, when I go to bed that night I invariably don't sleep well - I sleep fitfully and lightly (compared to the sleep of the dead I usually manage) and am left shattered the next day.

Does anyone know why this is and, more to the point, what I can do about it?

Thanks

C.

Posts

  • I've noticed the same problem after century rides or multi-day events where I'm riding 70+ miles every day at the limit of my exertion abilities.

    For years, I regarded it as an interesting - yet obviously annoying - phenomena, and didn't investigate it further.

    Someone recently told me dehydration can be a factor in sleeplessness, but I haven't found a lot of documentation to support that. I think I drink enough, but I live and ride in the southern U.S. and probably could drink forever after long rides in the summer and never get enough fluids in me.
  • carl_pcarl_p Posts: 989
    Specialized Venge S Works
    Cannondale Synapse
    Enigma Etape
    Genesis Flyer Single Speed


    Turn the corner, rub my eyes and hope the world will last...
  • HarryBHarryB Posts: 197
    I always have that problem. Did the Ryedale Rumble today (long route) so tonight could be interesting
  • LagavulinLagavulin Posts: 1,688
    I've been making do in 4 or 5 hours a night recently.
    Unsure whether to attribute to my increased hours in the hours of late or just the lighter mornings/ Either way, by the timeI get home from work (twilight shift - 5pm - 9pm) I'm invariably f**king knackered!
  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    Lagavulin wrote:
    I've been making do in 4 or 5 hours a night recently.
    Unsure whether to attribute to my increased hours in the hours of late or just the lighter mornings/ Either way, by the timeI get home from work (twilight shift - 5pm - 9pm) I'm invariably f**king knackered!

    I found that I was waking up too early once the light mornings started so I blacked out the windows and that sorted that problem.
  • madturkeymadturkey Posts: 58
    Fantastic topic! I did my first metric ton yesterday, totally shattered when I got home but only managed about 3 hours kip. Hot sticky weather can't have helped the sleep but I'm glad I'm not the only one
  • boybikerboybiker Posts: 531
    Same here, I bonked badly on a club ride yesterday, it was a hard 60 mile ride, slept for a couple of hours when I got home but couldn't sleep last night.
    I tried to drink a lot but its hard to judge how much is enough especially when its hot like yesterday.
    The gear changing, helmet wearing fule.
    FCN :- -1
    Given up waiting for Fast as Fupp to start stalking me
  • AdieuAdieu Posts: 83
    boybiker wrote:
    Same here, I bonked badly on a club ride yesterday, it was a hard 60 mile ride, slept for a couple of hours when I got home but couldn't sleep last night.
    I tried to drink a lot but its hard to judge how much is enough especially when its hot like yesterday.

    Strange question, Boybiker, but how old are you?

    On topic: Same with me, however I Always forget to bring enough water and in some cases forget it all together. :oops:

    *bashes head on table*
  • boybikerboybiker Posts: 531
    Just turned 18 Adieu
    The gear changing, helmet wearing fule.
    FCN :- -1
    Given up waiting for Fast as Fupp to start stalking me
  • DoobzDoobz Posts: 2,800
    Coriander wrote:
    Hi,

    After a long or hard ride I feel that glorious righteous tiredness you get after physical exertion and can barely keep my eyes open. However, when I go to bed that night I invariably don't sleep well - I sleep fitfully and lightly (compared to the sleep of the dead I usually manage) and am left shattered the next day.

    Does anyone know why this is and, more to the point, what I can do about it?

    Thanks

    C.

    you could be hungry... If I cant sleep I go and grab some cheese on toast or a bowl of the kids cereal and I am off in no time. I rarely have a problem with getting to sleep tho.. Its the waking up part that I need help with :P
    cartoon.jpg
  • Jez monJez mon Posts: 3,809
    Generally, if i do fall asleep on the sofa after a ride, I won't sleep well when I go to bed. Unfortunately, sometimes it's impossible to stay awake, however, it's possible to void off the waves of tiredness until the evening.

    Another thing is to go to bed when you feel tired. If you feel tired at 8 o'clock then go to bed. This is terribly anti social if you have a family, but meh!!

    Happy birthday to Boybiker!!
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live
  • Stewie GriffinStewie Griffin Posts: 4,330
    madturkey wrote:
    Fantastic topic! I did my first metric ton yesterday, totally shattered when I got home but only managed about 3 hours kip. Hot sticky weather can't have helped the sleep but I'm glad I'm not the only one

    Well done Mad Turkey on your first metric ton, not done mine yet, am going to do it "soon" :oops: .

    Any ride over 2 hours in the evening after work and I wont be nodding off easily that night. Im just never tired, I lie there in the dark thinking about the ride unable to switch off looking at my alarm clock. I do fight the initial tiredness after the ride until "bedtime", I might give the going to bed when actually tired thing a go and see where that gets me :lol: .
  • penugentpenugent Posts: 913
    madturkey wrote:
    Fantastic topic! I did my first metric ton yesterday

    Well done.
  • penugentpenugent Posts: 913
    I have this sleeplessness problem after a long ride, no matter what the temperature, time of year, or level of hydration. I think not going to bed as soon as I think I should may be an issue so I'm going to experiment with that. To hell with feeling I can't hit the pillow before the rest of the family.
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    are you warming down properly and stretching?
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    are you warming down properly and stretching?

    I think you have hit on a very common issue with cyclists. I see maybe 50% of riders
    who do cool down after a hard ride by soft pedaling for, say, 20 minutes or so. Others
    seem to cross the line, so to speak, get of the bike and call it a day. I've been known to
    just hammer and then stop more than a few times. Just in a hurry I guess. I,m going to try
    and take your advice to heart more often.

    Dennis Noward
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    I do a lot of sports coaching, and it causes so many problems with my athletes, who often cannot stand up after a hard session, you should see the looks when you tell them to start warming down before they get too cold. But it is so vital, and no matter how hard you push yourself, you'll always feel completely fresh after a good warmdown.

    Generally I've found, and I'd assume that it is the same here, but very gentle high resistance work, building into faster low resistance work is best. So start in a high gear, going slowly, possibly up a shallow gradient to keep the speed off then spin ridiculously.

    Dennis, I'd certainly agree with the 20mins thing though, it does seem to be about optimal for sub 1hr exertions.
  • nolfnolf Posts: 1,287
    Someone mentioned that they can't sleep on consecutive challenging 70+ mile days. This is a classic symptom of overtraining.
    If you do too many miles then often your body will suffer from a wide variety of symptoms, ranging from insomnia, constant low feelings, even depression. Last summer I overdid things, not enough rest days and ended up getting pretty down.

    Try taking a few days off, or recovering after your rides better. Also I would 100% say that if you've had a very long day then sleep as soon as you feel tired. Even if you finish your ride at 4pm and feel sleepy at 5, then have a long nap. If you push your body sometimes it responds by releasing adrenaline to keep you going through the day and night, and then the next day you'll crash.
    "I hold it true, what'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost;
    Than never to have loved at all."

    Alfred Tennyson
  • SCR PedroSCR Pedro Posts: 912
    Hey there,

    Another one here. I've been sleeping pretty well recently, but I've been on the bike every day for the last week (taking advantage of the warm weather), and the last 2 nights have been hell.

    In my case, I doubt that it's dehydration. If anything, I drink too much water.

    Maybe we can recognise a trend or pattern here. I think that the increased mileage and warm nights are a factor for me.

    cheers
    Pedro
    Giant TCR Advanced II - Reviewed on my homepage
    Giant TCR Alliance Zero
    BMC teammachineSLR03
    The Departed
    Giant SCR2
    Canyon Roadlite
    Specialized Allez
    Some other junk...
  • CorianderCoriander Posts: 1,326
    nolf wrote:
    Someone mentioned that they can't sleep on consecutive challenging 70+ mile days. This is a classic symptom of overtraining.
    If you do too many miles then often your body will suffer from a wide variety of symptoms, ranging from insomnia, constant low feelings, even depression. Last summer I overdid things, not enough rest days and ended up getting pretty down.

    Try taking a few days off, or recovering after your rides better. Also I would 100% say that if you've had a very long day then sleep as soon as you feel tired. Even if you finish your ride at 4pm and feel sleepy at 5, then have a long nap. If you push your body sometimes it responds by releasing adrenaline to keep you going through the day and night, and then the next day you'll crash.

    That seems to make sense to me. I drink litres of water and i don't think it's dehydration and not eating enough is rarely a problem in my life :roll: I also have a hot bath and do some yoga stretches when I get home so I don't think it's that either.

    Whatever it is, it's very frustrating.

    I'll try the sleeping as soon as I feel tired thing and see if that works for me.

    Thanks guys.
  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    Coriander wrote:
    nolf wrote:
    Someone mentioned that they can't sleep on consecutive challenging 70+ mile days. This is a classic symptom of overtraining.
    If you do too many miles then often your body will suffer from a wide variety of symptoms, ranging from insomnia, constant low feelings, even depression. Last summer I overdid things, not enough rest days and ended up getting pretty down.

    Try taking a few days off, or recovering after your rides better. Also I would 100% say that if you've had a very long day then sleep as soon as you feel tired. Even if you finish your ride at 4pm and feel sleepy at 5, then have a long nap. If you push your body sometimes it responds by releasing adrenaline to keep you going through the day and night, and then the next day you'll crash.

    That seems to make sense to me. I drink litres of water and i don't think it's dehydration and not eating enough is rarely a problem in my life :roll: I also have a hot bath and do some yoga stretches when I get home so I don't think it's that either.

    Whatever it is, it's very frustrating.

    I'll try the sleeping as soon as I feel tired thing and see if that works for me.

    Thanks guys.

    I don't know if work would approve of this approach as I normally hit a very tired little spot around 3pm when I just want curl up in a corner and go to sleep. Get nearly everyday I work whether I came in on the bike or not so maybe its just the work that doesn't agree with me :shock:
  • nolfnolf Posts: 1,287
    doyler78 wrote:
    Coriander wrote:
    nolf wrote:
    Someone mentioned that they can't sleep on consecutive challenging 70+ mile days. This is a classic symptom of overtraining.
    If you do too many miles then often your body will suffer from a wide variety of symptoms, ranging from insomnia, constant low feelings, even depression. Last summer I overdid things, not enough rest days and ended up getting pretty down.

    Try taking a few days off, or recovering after your rides better. Also I would 100% say that if you've had a very long day then sleep as soon as you feel tired. Even if you finish your ride at 4pm and feel sleepy at 5, then have a long nap. If you push your body sometimes it responds by releasing adrenaline to keep you going through the day and night, and then the next day you'll crash.

    That seems to make sense to me. I drink litres of water and i don't think it's dehydration and not eating enough is rarely a problem in my life :roll: I also have a hot bath and do some yoga stretches when I get home so I don't think it's that either.

    Whatever it is, it's very frustrating.

    I'll try the sleeping as soon as I feel tired thing and see if that works for me.

    Thanks guys.

    I don't know if work would approve of this approach as I normally hit a very tired little spot around 3pm when I just want curl up in a corner and go to sleep. Get nearly everyday I work whether I came in on the bike or not so maybe its just the work that doesn't agree with me :shock:

    Benefits of being a student and not actually needing to work :)
    "I hold it true, what'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost;
    Than never to have loved at all."

    Alfred Tennyson
Sign In or Register to comment.