Is Napping Before A Workout A Good Idea?

sleeping before gym
July 7, 2023 0 Comments

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In this article I will be answering the question “is napping before a workout a good idea?”. Napping in general is a good way to recharge through the day.

Is it a good idea before a workout? I will be exploring this in more detail in this article. I will present a well balanced view and provide some anecdotes as well.

Is Napping Before A Workout A Good Idea?

Overall, a short nap before a workout can be beneficial to improve your alertness and energise you.

If you nap for too long then you could find it can be detrimental. You could end up feeling a bit drowsy and groggy. You have to find the right balance, generally a 15 to 20 minute nap is sufficient to reduce tiredness.

The most important thing is ensuring adequate sleep. If you are sleeping for less than 6 hours a night then your sleep is inadequate. Napping during the day won’t address this problem, it will merely serve as a band-aid.

Some people may find that napping during the day reduces their sleep quality at night. If you can relate to this, then you would need to find other ways of getting ready for a workout.

Meditation or listening to some upbeat music can certainly help to put you into a better mood before a workout. You will find that this alone can increase your alertness and energy levels.
sleeping before gym

Inadequate Sleep

I will now talk about a common scenario that many people experience. This is not chronic sleep deprivation but some days where you get slightly inadequate sleep.

I always maintain that 7-8 hours sleep is a good amount to get every night. Some people need closer to 8 hours, other people can maintain good energy levels with slightly less sleep.

If you got 7 hours sleep at night but needed closer to 7.5 or 8, then you would have had inadequate sleep on that night. If you are working out during the day, a short nap can be beneficial to give you an extra boost.

The ultimate aim should be to get in adequate sleep every night. This takes a lot of discipline and for many people it is not always possible. If you get sufficient sleep at night, there is no need to take a nap before working out.

Naps Can Improve Energy Levels 

Naps can help to improve energy levels and make you more alert. This is why they can aid you before a workout.

Lifting weights takes a lot of energy, especially if you train full body and do very strenuous workouts. The key is to utilise shorter naps, no longer than 20 minutes.

If you nap for too long before a workout, you will find that it will actually have the opposite effect. You will likely be more drowsy and not as alert after a very long nap.

Workout times also play a role when it comes to napping. If you workout early in the morning, you don’t need a nap. You have just woken up from sleeping at night and therefore your energy levels are not depleted.

If you workout later at night, then the case for a quick nap before working out becomes more sound. Energy levels decline during the day, generally you have the most energy earlier in the day.

So for those training at night, power naps can be highly advantageous prior to working out.

Napping May Affect Your Sleep Quality

Some individuals will find that napping during the day will hinder their sleep quality at night.

There are ways to workaround this problem. The first is to utilise shorter naps. Shorter naps will help to energise you but will be less likely to interfere with your sleep quality at night.

Steering clear of long naps will also help in this regard. If you are finding that even short naps are hindering your sleep at night, you need to consider alternative solutions.

For an energy boost before the gym you can take caffeine in the form of pills or a pre workout. However, even with caffeine you have to be careful. If you take a lot of caffeine at night, you are likely to interfere with sleep quality.

Therefore, for workouts earlier in the day, caffeine is a viable solution. For workouts late at night you would have to find another way to mentally prepare. It could be through mediation or listening to relaxing or upbeat music.

Getting in a good pre workout meal with protein, fats and carbs can also help you to better power through your workouts. Fast acting carbs that you find in bananas or rice are a good option. 

Mind Pump Show’s Views On Naps

The Mind Pump Show has some interesting views regarding naps and share some similar views to me.

They re-iterate that you can’t make up for lost sleep completely with naps. This is true, good quality sleep should always be the priority. If you are consistently getting sub par sleep, napping during the day will be sub optimal at best.

Good quality sleep combined with naps are very good for muscle building and recovery. Many bodybuilders utilise this approach – you can take a short nap before a workout even if you are getting in good quality sleep.

This is a personal choice. Finally, naps that are too long can actually hinder your sleep quality at night. This is something that I have already explained. Therefore, if you are finding that naps are having a negative effect on your sleep, you need to adopt a different approach.

Final Thoughts

Is napping before a workout a good idea? Overall, it can be beneficial to take a short nap before a workout. It will help to reduce tiredness and make you more alert.

You just have to pay attention to the effects that naps have on your sleep quality at night. If they are negatively affecting your sleep at night, then you need to find another approach to prepare for your workouts.

Regularly getting good quality sleep is imperative and should always come first. You can’t cover up bad sleep habits with napping during the day. It is sub optimal at best and doesn’t address the root problem.

If you take naps before working out please leave a comment below! As always, stay safe and enjoy your workouts.

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