Sunday, April 18, 2010

One Thing That Isn't Better

Taking up jogging has greatly improved so many areas in my life. I feel physically stronger, have a better self-image, eat less while still feeling satisfied, and am losing weight. But there is one area of life that has actually gotten worse since I started exercising, and I am quite surprised about it. I'm talking about sleep. I figured exercise would improve my sleep, but so far that has not been the case. I am finding it more difficult to fall asleep to begin with, and I often wake in the night and have trouble returning to sleep. Most disturbing is the increase in nightmares.

I am not the kind to regularly have nightmares, but in the past 3 or so weeks I have had lots of vivid, terrifying dreams. The dreams are all over the map as far as circumstances and characters involved, but they have all been extremely upsetting. Several times I have been unable to go back to sleep because a dream unsettled me so completely.

I have no idea why this is happening, or even if it is 100% tied to my new running routine. I do run late evenings many times, which might make going to bed at 10 PM difficult for my body. I wonder if this is a common complaint for people who begin exercising regularly or if I am just plain strange.


Heather said...

I know several people who have trouble sleeping at night after running because they do so late in the evening. When they moved it to earlier in the day, they ended up sleeping better than they were before. Of course, it is hard to find time earlier in the day when you have kids to watch!!

Rachel said...

Heather is right and I was going to say the same's pretty well documented that working out in the late evening will keep you awake. But yeah...finding another time to do it may be difficult if you're not an early morning person!