Have you noticed that you struggle to fall asleep after Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many people have difficulty sleeping when they first begin their BJJ training, especially after a late night. For some, sleeping becomes more natural after a few months (sometimes years) of consistent training. However, for many others, this sleep challenge never quite gets easier.
After a long night of sparring, the frustration of being awake when you know that you have to get up early will leave you wondering how people actually manage to sleep after BJJ training? The trick is to use a post-workout routine that calms both your mind and body.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training is a practice that requires you to be physically and mentally alert at all times. So, when you need to get some rest after a session, you should try relaxation techniques, such as meditating, as well as activities that help to cool your body down, like stretching.
There are many advantages of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but just like in BJJ training, you will need to learn to dedicate your time off the mat to looking after your body and mental health. Sleep is a large part of that, so let’s have a look at some ways that you can get some rest after a late-night training session. (Source)
Mental Tips for Sleeping After BJJ Training
Unlike some hobbies, practicing martial arts isn’t mindless; even if you do it as an escape, you don’t go there to turn off. So, it makes sense that an activity that has you so focused can leave you buzzing afterward. Fortunately, there are some mental tricks that people have found to be useful once training is over.
Stop Replaying the Rolls
One of the biggest problems that martial artists face after training is that their mind won’t stop going over their performance, where they went wrong, what they did right, and how they could improve. If you are passionate about what you are doing, it’s only natural to analyze every submission, especially right after you leave the gym.
Because you need to mentally cool down as well as physically, slowing your brain down is the only way to stop yourself from watching the same movie over and over. Some mental relaxation techniques include:
- Breathing – Some people find that taking a moment to do some deep breathing helps to get their mind out of the training mentality. It also helps with slowing your heart rate and helping to cool your body down.
- Meditation – Mindfulness practices help to focus on something other than your latest grapple. Following a guided meditation can help you prepare and get to sleep faster in addition to breathing techniques.
- Reading – Many people find late-night reading calming and a distracting way to direct the mind toward the bed. Try reading something that isn’t mentally engaging to avoid keeping your brain wired.
By incorporating something calming into your nightly routine, you will help to encourage your mind to step away and prepare for sleep.
Don’t Head Straight to Sleep
An early call for work in the morning may make you want to jump into bed as soon as you get home. However, many people find it more difficult to sleep if they don’t take the time to wind down. As tempting as it is when you think that you’re exhausted, try not to force the sleep – the more that you push it, the more your brain seems to fight it.
Instead, this is where your nightly routine will come into place. Eat a light meal, prepare anything that you need for tomorrow, and practice a relaxation technique (like the ones above).
These days, electronics are a major culprit of sleep for just about anyone. It is too easy to head straight for a computer, tv, or to take your phone or tablet to bed with you. On any given night, this is highly discouraged. After participating in a mentally exhausting activity, getting lost in an internet rabbit hole is an even worse idea.
When you get home, commit to only doing things that will help you head in the direction of your bed. If you train late into the evening, spending even an hour watching TV will easily set you back a few extra hours when you’re trying to fall asleep.
Leave the Lights Off
If you usually like to turn on every light switch as soon as the sun goes down, try to keep lighting to a minimum when you get home.
As you may know, our body’s circadian rhythm relies heavily on light. By having every light in the house on, you are sending a signal to your brain not to release melatonin, one of the hormones that we need for sleep. Instead, only use as much lighting as you need to be able to prepare for bed. If you happen to wake in the middle of the night, try not to turn on lights for trips to the kitchen or bathroom.
Physical Tips for Sleeping After BJJ Training
Telling your body to calm down and helping your body calm down are two different things. If you find that you are still amped up after training, be sure to encourage (sometimes force) your body to shift into night mode.
Cool Your Body Down
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training will naturally raise your core temperature. After your last roll, you may find that it takes some time to stop sweating and cool down.
- Take a cool/cold shower – A cold shower will help bring your core temperature down, which is necessary for the body to be able to prepare for sleep.
- Change your clothes – Try changing from your sweaty gi into loose-fitting, comfortable clothing.
- Do some stretches – Simple stretching is an excellent way to encourage your body to calm down when you still feel the energy from training.
Use A Prop Pillow
Speaking of rolling, do you ever find that you turn a lot in your sleep, especially on training nights? If your physical body doesn’t stop moving even after you have fallen asleep, try using a body pillow to help keep you in place. Rolling around in your sleep is relatively common, but you don’t want to end up falling off the bed or onto your partner, ruining sleep for everyone. I personally recommend using two BioPEDIC Body Pillows (Link to Amazon) as physical barriers to help keep you from rolling over! I’ve been using them for a few months now, and have loved not ending up on the other side of the bed (or even off the bed for that matter), by the time I wake up! Highly recommended if you turn in your sleep!
When you think about it, sparring intentionally puts your body into fight or flight mode. It requires you to be alert constantly, so of course, shutting that off will take some time. Maintaining a sleep routine will help to train your body to go to bed when it needs to, but incorporating the above tips will help you on those late nights when training leaves you feeling wide awake.