Napping After a Workout: The Pros & Cons For Your Gains

The post-workout nap is often seen as a necessary evil: you’re exhausted, but you know you need to stay up and get things done – a quick nap is the solution. However, napping after a workout can actually benefit you if you do it correctly. Although there are negatives too.

In this article, we’ll review all the pros and cons of napping after a workout so you can make the best decision for your needs.

Napping After a Workout

Napping After a Workout: The Pros

1. You’ll Be More Alert & Productive for the Rest of the Day

A post-workout nap can give you the energy to power through the rest of your day. Plus, you’ll be more alert and less likely to make mistakes.

Most people are more productive in the morning, so if you can squeeze in a nap before lunch, you’ll be in good shape to take on the afternoon.

However, make sure you keep your nap to 20-30 minutes, or you’ll wake up feeling groggy and disoriented.

2. You’ll Recover Faster From Your Workout

Working out causes microscopic tears in your muscles, which need time to repair. Napping after a workout gives your body the chance to do just that, so you’ll be ready to hit the gym again tomorrow.

Researchers agree that napping after exercise can help improve your performance and recovery and reduce stress levels.

To get the most benefit of your recovery, make sure your nap includes some protein to help your muscles recover. A small snack like a hard-boiled egg or a protein shake should do the trick.

Napping After a Workout

3. You’ll Boost Your Immune System

A post-workout nap can help keep you from getting sick by giving your immune system a chance to recover from the stress of exercise. In one study, people who napped after working out had a lower risk of developing upper respiratory tract infections than those who didn’t nap.

Moreover, napping after a gym session can also help reduce inflammation, which is a critical factor in many chronic diseases.

Napping After a Workout

4. You’ll Improve Your Mood

In addition to giving you more energy, a post-workout nap can also improve your mood. That’s because exercise releases endorphins, hormones that have mood-boosting effects.

However, it’s important to note that napping can also have the opposite effect and make you feel more tired and irritable. So, if you’re feeling good after a workout, there’s no need to nap.

5. You’ll Burn More Calories

Napping after a workout can help you burn more calories if you’re trying to lose weight. That’s because muscle repair takes energy, and your body will have to work harder to repair muscles fatigued from exercise.

In one study, people who napped after working out burned more calories than those who didn’t nap. However, the difference was only a few calories, so don’t count on napping to help you lose much weight.

6. You’ll Lower Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. But napping after a workout can help lower your blood pressure, according to one study.

Napping also helps improve heart health by giving your heart a chance to recover from the strenuous activity of exercise. With active people, naps can help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

7. You’ll Improve Your Cognitive Function

In addition to making you more alert, a post-workout nap can also improve your cognitive function. That’s because exercise releases a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which helps promote the growth of new neurons and the formation of connections between them.

Napping after exercise helps increase the level of BDNF in your brain, improving your memory and learning.

8. You’ll Increase Your Lifespan

In one study, people who napped regularly were less likely to die from heart disease than those who didn’t nap. Moreover, napping has been linked to lower mortality risk from all causes.

The connection between napping and longevity may be because napping helps lower stress levels, damaging your health over time. In addition, as mentioned above, napping has been linked to a lower risk of mortality from all causes, and it’s easy to see why taking a post-workout nap is a good idea.

9. You’ll Lower Your Risk of Injury

Napping after a workout can help your body recover from the stress of exercise and lower your risk of injury. Mainly, this is because napping gives your muscles a chance to repair themselves.

Fitness professionals are no stranger to cases where people don’t give their bodies enough time to recover between workouts and start piling up injuries. However, napping can help reduce the risk of overuse injuries.

The critical thing to remember is that you should only nap if you feel fatigued. Napping when you’re not tired can make you feel more sluggish and interfere with your sleep at night.

10. You’ll Be More Productive

Napping has been shown to improve task performance, vigilance, and reaction time. That’s why many people who have demanding jobs or who require peak performance take naps.

Some companies have “nap rooms” for employees to take advantage of the benefits of napping. The benefits of napping are so well-known that even the military encourages its soldiers to nap.

11. You’ll Get a Better Night’s Sleep

If you have trouble sleeping at night, napping after a workout can help you sleep better. That’s because exercise helps improve sleep quality and increases your time in deep sleep.

Napping after a workout can also help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. In one study, people who took a post-workout nap slept better than those who didn’t nap.

Napping After a Workout

12. You’ll Burn More Fat

Napping after a workout can help your body burn more fat. In one study, people who napped after exercising burned more fat than those who didn’t nap.

This is because napping helps your body recover from the stress of exercise. When you’re well-rested, your body is better able to burn fat.

It is also believed that napping helps boost your metabolism, which can lead to more fat burning.

13. You’ll Have More Energy

Napping after a workout can help increase your energy levels. In one study, people who napped after exercising had more energy than those who didn’t nap.

This is because napping helps your body recover from the stress of exercise. When you’re well-rested, your body is better able to generate energy.

Energy and post-workout resting may be linked since napping can help improve your sleep quality. When you sleep better, you have more energy during the day.

Napping After a Workout

Napping After a Workout: The Cons

Remember that some disadvantages are proper for some, but not all people get to experience them.

1. You Might Feel More Sluggish

If you nap for too long, you might feel more sluggish when you wake up. This is because napping can interfere with your sleep at night.

To avoid this, ensure you only nap for 20-30 minutes. Anything longer than that, and you might start feeling groggy.

Remember, napping aims to refresh and rejuvenate your body, not make you feel more tired.

Napping After a Workout

2. You Might Not Be Able to Fall Asleep

If you have trouble falling asleep at night, napping during the day can make it harder to sleep at night. This is because napping can interfere with your sleep schedule.

To avoid this, ensure you only nap for 20-30 minutes. Anything longer than that, and you might have trouble falling asleep at night.

Not everyone has this problem, though. Some people find that napping helps them sleep better at night.

3. You Might Have Trouble Waking Up

If you have trouble waking up in the morning, napping during the day can make it even harder for you to wake up. This is because napping can interfere with your sleep schedule.

What you can do instead:

– Try setting the alarm for a specific time each day and sticking to it.

– Get up and move around every few hours to help keep yourself awake.

– Avoid drinking caffeine late in the day.

Napping After a Workout

4. You Might Gain Weight

Some people report that they gain weight when they nap regularly. This could be because napping can increase your appetite.

Try these alternative methods to help you stay awake and avoid weight gain:

– Drink a cup of water or herbal tea instead of napping.

– Eat a healthy snack instead of napping.

– Get up and move around every few hours to help keep your metabolism going.

5. You Might Feel Groggy After Waking Up

It’s not unusual to feel disoriented or “out of it” after taking a nap. This is because napping can interfere with your sleep cycle.

To lessen the impact of waking up groggy affecting your workout performance, take a nap early in the day rather than close to your workout time.

Note: Napping after a workout can help improve your recovery, but it’s not for everyone. If you find that napping interferes with your sleep at night or makes you feel groggy after waking up, try another method of recovery. For example, drink a cup of water or herbal tea, eat a healthy snack, or get up and move around every few hours. These alternatives will help you stay awake and avoid feeling groggy after napping.

Helpful Tips On Napping after a Workout

Napping can help your body recover from a workout and ensure you get the most out of your routine. Here are some tips for taking a successful nap after working out.

1. Stick to a Schedule

If you’re going to nap, stick to a regular schedule. This will help ensure that napping doesn’t interfere with sleep at night.

Most people nap in the afternoon, around 2 or 3 pm. Then, they can sleep through the night without any problems.

2. Set an Alarm

Set an alarm if you’re worried about napping for too long and waking up feeling groggy. This will help ensure that you only nap for the time you want to.

Setting an alarm will also help you stick to a regular schedule.

3. Get Up and Move Around.

If you find it hard to wake up after napping, try getting up and moving around for a few minutes. This will help increase your energy levels and wake you up more quickly.

Try to make it a habit of getting up and moving around every few hours, even if you don’t feel like napping. This will help keep your energy levels up and prevent you from feeling groggy, and prepare you for a better workout session.

4. Drink Plenty of Fluids

Dehydration can make you tired, so it’s important to drink plenty of fluids when trying to stay awake after that post-workout nap.

Water is always the best choice, but you can also try herbal tea or coffee. Just be careful not to overdo it on the caffeine, as too much can make you feel jittery and prevent you from sleeping at night.

5. Avoid Alcohol

While it may seem like a good idea to have a drink after a nap when you just had your workout, it’s not.

Alcohol can interfere with your sleep, making it harder for you to recover from your workout and negatively affecting your performance the next day.

Your goal is to have a clear head during your workout, so avoid drinking alcohol before or after your nap.

Napping After a Workout: FAQs

How Long Should You Wait to Nap After Working Out?

You should wait at least 30 minutes to sleep after working out. This will give your body time to cool down and start the recovery process.

Is it OK to Sleep After a Workout?

Yes, it is OK to sleep after working out. It can help your body recover from the workout and ensure you get the most out of your routine.

Will I Gain Weight If I Sleep After Exercise?

No, you will not gain weight if you sleep after working out. However, sleeping can help your body recover from the workout and improve your performance the next day.

The bottom line

Napping after a workout can help your muscles recover and improve your performance. But it’s essential to nap for the right amount of time, though, or you might not get all the benefits.

A 20-minute nap should do the trick. And be sure to nap in a comfortable place where you can relax and won’t be interrupted.