Can’t Sleep After Jiu-Jitsu? Here’s How To Fix It

Can't Sleep After Jiu-Jitsu

If you can’t sleep after jiu-jitsu training, don’t worry. It happens even to the best in the game. It’s challenging to let go of that feeling of agitation afterward.

You feel tired, drained, and yet restless at the same time. And it’s not easy to fall asleep with all these sensations running around your body.

Resting well after training is an essential component of your development in Jiu-Jitsu. The more rest you receive, the better the following session will be. 

In this article, you’ll find some field-tested techniques to have a great night’s sleep after BJJ training. Let’s go.

Trouble Sleeping After BJJ – The Sleeping Cycle Briefly Explained

Experts believe that the average sleeping period is between 7 to 9 hours every night. However, People can sleep as much as 12 hours and as low as 4 hours. It all depends on your circadian rhythm.

The Four Stages Of Sleep - Trouble Sleeping After BJJ

However, if we go into the details, there are two sleeping modes: REM and Non-REM. During the REM cycle, the brain is active and produces most of your dreams; this cycle helps sharpen your memory and keep your mind healthy.

During the Non-REM process, the brain goes into a low activity mode, where all your physical recovery occurs.

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Understanding Why You Can’t Sleep After Jiu-Jitsu 

Realize that you are not the only one having a hard time sleeping after a hard rolling session. Several factors may be hindering your sleep cycle after Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

The Post-Training “Hangover” or DOMS

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or (DOMS) is caused by high-intensity training. This happens to everyone, especially to those athletes who are not used to the training intensity.

You will not suddenly feel the effects of a post-BJJ training hangover, but when it is time to sleep, your body will give you a hard time. Your muscles will feel sore and stiff.

You will experience aches in your body. While this may seem like a cause for concern, it is just your body going into recovery mode after all the effort you did during those Jiu-Jitsu rounds.

You Might Be Training Too Hard 

Ask yourself if you began BJJ training too much too soon. If you did not gradually build up your intensity, you might be training too hard too soon. You need to respect your body and not push it to the point of breaking.

Putting too much pressure on your body will throw your parasympathetic nervous system off balance. Which in turn imbalances your sleeping routine.

Allow your body to go into a low-energetic state when you come back home. Sleeping is impossible if you are still exhilarated from your training session. Moreover, do not tax your system too much.

Gradually build up your momentum so that you can sustain long hours of punishment on the mats. Then give your body enough time to cool down and get into a low energy state.

You Don’t Have a Solid Sleeping Routine

When you can’t Sleep After Jiu-Jitsu, not having a solid sleeping schedule is detrimental to your Jiu-Jitsu performance. According to scientists at Stanford, you should be in bed around 10 p.m. so that your circadian rhythms are in check.

Failing to set a solid sleep schedule can harm your physical recovery as well as mental rejuvenation. If your body cannot recover from strenuous training, there is no point going so hard on the mats.

World-class athletes such as Roger Federer, Lebron James, and Venus Williams get as much as 10-12 hours of sleep every day.

So if you are having a hard time sleeping after rolling, it might be your routine. Remember, guys, discipline is key to becoming exceptional at everything in life. Sometimes that applies to your sleeping schedule as well.

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The Importance Of A Good Night’s Sleep In BJJ And Life 

Training hard might be necessary at times, and it takes years and years on the mats to attain a certain level of mastery. But you might be harming your journey if you do not focus on your recovery. And your body can only recover if you are sleeping well.

Most athletes believe that training and diet are the only two pillars in their athletic careers. However, the most overlooked part is sleep.

Sleep is the most crucial element for performance, recovery, and cognitive function. More sleep means:

  • More accurate landing techniques.
  • Better reaction times in defensive positions.
  • Improved recovery speed.
  • Better metabolic function.
  • General mental well-being.

Tips For Improving Your Sleep After BJJ 

What Gear Do You Need For BJJ

Unlike most activities, practicing BJJ is not a mindless chore. You are using your whole physical and mental energy to overcome your opponent.

If I put it in simple terms, one plays chess with their body. So it makes sense that such an intensive activity will leave you buzzing afterward.

But don’t worry, here are some tips below to help you relax before bedtime.

Don’t Eat Protein Before Going To Bed 

The optimal time to consume your protein is not before bed. It would be best not to eat a heavy meal or lots of protein right before you go to bed. Generally, it takes more time for your body to digest all that protein and more time for your brain to push itself in a REM state.

Take a Cold Shower 

Cold showers before bed are perfect for recovery and tense muscles. The cold temperature initially shocks your body, raises your heart rate, but eventually calms you down. It makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. 

Cold showers can activate your immune system, release feel-good hormones, enhance melatonin production, and reduce mental clutter. So the next time you feel restless before bed after training BJJ, try a cold shower.

Turn Off All The Lights At Your Place 

Your circadian rhythm is heavily dependent on light exposure. By having the lights turned on in your house, particularly blue light, you signal your brain not to release melatonin (the hormone that induces sleep). 

The best way to sleep comfortably is to dim the lights an hour before you want to go to bed. 

Don’t Use Your Electronic Devices 

Electronics are responsible for most blue light emissions. People are hooked on their smartphones, laptops, and TVs all the time. It would be best not to expose yourself to electronics before bedtime. 

Instead, try reading a book, listening to some relaxing music, or doing nothing in bed with your lights out. Sleeping will get easier once you get comfortable ignoring your phone before bedtime.

Take Some Time To Decompress After Rolling 

One of the drawbacks of BJJ is once you’re more engaged with your rolls, you can’t stop replaying scenarios in your head. So many of us are replaying their performances, what they could have done, what they should have avoided, and how they can improve.

But the best practice here would be to leave Jiu-Jitsu in the gym.

Come back home, declutter yourself and calm your brain. Try breathing, meditating, or reading to take your mind off of Jiu-Jitsu and decompress yourself.

Putting all your ideas for improvement in a training journal is quite helpful when you can’t sleep after Jiu-Jitsu. That way, you know that all those concepts are somewhere, which allows your mind to relax. 

What To Avoid If You Can’t Sleep After Jiu-Jitsu Training

You need to avoid a few things at all costs if you want to have a sound sleep after Jiu-Jitsu. 

Avoid High-Caffeine Drinks 

Caffeine is something that you should drink only in the morning. If you consume a cup of coffee or your favorite energy drink after 6 p.m., you are only punishing yourself. 

Avoid Sleeping Pills 

When you decide to take sleeping pills or melatonin supplements, they force your body to stop producing that hormone inside your body. Once your body feels the source is coming from the outside, it will halt its production internally.

So pills are a big no if you want to sleep better in the long run.

Avoid Stressful Conversations Before Bedtime 

Stress increases your cortisol, and cortisol keeps you up like an owl. What you need in the night is soft music, a comfortable environment, silence, and warm conversations with your loved ones. Avoid stressful people before bedtime to have a healthy life.

Avoid Cigarettes

Avoid cigarettes completely. If you are a smoker, it might be best if you quit. But if you cannot stop, try to avoid smoking before you go to bed because cigarettes will create hormonal imbalances that might also affect the quality of your sleep.

Final Thoughts on Sleeping After BJJ Training

Understand that rolling and sparring will put your body in alert mode. So your mind is going to be active constantly. When you come back home, decompress, take a shower, dim the lights and avoid screens.

Remember that nutrition and exercise alone are not enough for peak performance on the mats. The third pillar in your regimen should be sleep, and you need a minimum of 8 hours to perform well on the mats and in the arena of life.

Prioritize your sleep and get the most out of your experience with BJJ. If you found this helpful, share it with a friend who can’t sleep after Jiu-Jitsu. 

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