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Sleepless the next night after a long ride

Old 01-25-10, 10:34 PM
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Sea Green Sky
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Sleepless the next night after a long ride

Whenever I ride more than 70 miles or so I have trouble sleeping not that night but the next night. For example, if I have a long ride on Monday I'll sleep nicely on Monday night but I'll be lucky to get five hours of sleep on Tuesday night. Not sleeping on Monday night would make some sense (spun up on maltodextrin products, etc), but the sleep problems always come the following night.

When this happens I feel generally pretty good the next day and don't particularly feel like I'm sleep deprived, maybe a bit tired not not like I would normally feel on five hours sleep.

What might be causing this reaction? Is this common (or at least not uncommon)?
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Old 01-25-10, 11:54 PM
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I have no idea if it's common, but I can't sleep before a big ride and have no problem sleeping afterwards. maybe 70 miles isn't enough?
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Old 01-26-10, 09:14 AM
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I think alcohol after a big ride can cause sleeplessness. Maybe it is a blood sugar thing.
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Old 01-26-10, 10:16 AM
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I get that a lot on the longest rides... I'm pretty sure it has to do with either fatigue or lactic acid buildup in the legs. It always seems like my legs are restless for a day or two after a long hard ride. The twitching wakes me up.
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Old 01-26-10, 10:50 AM
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they say a protein meal can help you sleep.
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Old 01-26-10, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Fueco View Post
I get that a lot on the longest rides... I'm pretty sure it has to do with either fatigue or lactic acid buildup in the legs. It always seems like my legs are restless for a day or two after a long hard ride. The twitching wakes me up.
This could be the correct why. What's the solution?

I rarely drink alcohol and I consume less than 75 carbs a day when not doing more than 2 hours on the bike, so I would be surprised if it was a sugar thing.
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Old 01-26-10, 02:31 PM
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At first glance that doesn't make any sense. On the other hand, if there is something about your "rest" day after the big ride that somehow disturbs brain chemistry - then maybe you do have a problem.

Maybe it is dietary in nature. But more likely the cause is any mix of "modern life" scenarios.

The facts are, our bodies still have genetic historical traits leaving us rough and ready to ride a century every day - as a "normal" day. The remarkable part of life is that the sleeping pill industry isn't any larger than it already is!!!!! (yuk yuk)
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Old 01-27-10, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Sea Green Sky View Post
This could be the correct why. What's the solution?

I rarely drink alcohol and I consume less than 75 carbs a day when not doing more than 2 hours on the bike, so I would be surprised if it was a sugar thing.
My guess is the speed of recovery. I've been experimenting with compression tights for recovery. They actually seem to help a lot. Whether I do a long run or ride, the tights seem to speed the recovery enough. My latest long ride was a 120 mile fixed-gear ride a couple of weeks ago. I slept fine after the ride and the days after. The only difference between other recoveries were the compression tights. After a 7 mile run three days ago, I didn't wear the tights and it took two full days to get my legs back to where I wanted to run again...
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Old 01-27-10, 12:40 PM
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The second night after a ride I often have trouble sleeping due to achy legs. Sometimes it takes me a while to realize that that's what the problem is. My legs aren't really in pain, but just achy enough to disturb my sleep. I find that ibuprofen or acetominaphin (AKA Tylenol or "non-aspirin pain revealer") do a fine job.

Keith
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Old 01-27-10, 12:54 PM
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Dehydration can cause a restless night. Low blood volume can cause the resting heart rate to be higher. This would keep you from sleeping sound.
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Old 02-19-10, 11:14 AM
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how are you keeping your carb intake so low , whats your diet like ? (i know its an odd place to ask just revamping my diet for the season looking for fresh ideas over the "beans and rice")
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Old 02-19-10, 11:41 AM
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I used to get this a lot back when I was more of a runner. I have read that one possible explanation is that it's difficult to sleep when your heart rate is high for periods longer than what your body is used to. I don't know the details of your riding routines or how much of a stretch 70 miles is for you, though, so this could very well have nothing to do with it.
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Old 02-19-10, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by iamsomeguy View Post
how are you keeping your carb intake so low , whats your diet like ? (i know its an odd place to ask just revamping my diet for the season looking for fresh ideas over the "beans and rice")
http://www.marksdailyapple.com - Primal Blueprint diet. Just feels better, and I've lost over 4kg in six weeks as well.
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Old 02-21-10, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Fueco View Post
My guess is the speed of recovery. I've been experimenting with compression tights for recovery. They actually seem to help a lot. Whether I do a long run or ride, the tights seem to speed the recovery enough. My latest long ride was a 120 mile fixed-gear ride a couple of weeks ago. I slept fine after the ride and the days after. The only difference between other recoveries were the compression tights. After a 7 mile run three days ago, I didn't wear the tights and it took two full days to get my legs back to where I wanted to run again...

A trick from marathon training....after a serious ride, and 120 miles on a fixie qualifies, sit in a cold bath covering your legs for 15 minutes. Jump in the shower after that to warm up and then put your compression tights on for a few hours.

I don't bother with it on runs up to 10-12 miles, (your legs will get used to those seven-mile runs quickly), but once I get into the medium-long and long runs of 13-20 miles, I recover so much quicker with the soak/compression routine. My legs will feel like they have at least some bounce in them five or six hours later. Ditto for very long rides.
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