I can't sleep if I don't train

I feel like training is a never-ending cycle that keeps increasing my energy, but as a result I have to train more to get rid of it. Because of this extra energy, I sleep much worse than I used to on recovery days. I can lay in bed for hours but have too much energy to relax and sleep.

I feel like a higher volume might help but I already do around 10-15 hours a week and it’s difficult to train so much with work and life responsibilities.

Or maybe I should be eating less, as much as it pains me to say that.

Has anyone else had similar experiences and what do you find works for you?

Very interesting… I have the exact opposite thing going on.


Yup, no such issues here.

I struggle with this as well. Recently on recovery days, I still make it a point to get out for a walk to do some light activity. A 30-minute walk or working on some bike handling in a parking lot can be all I need, and that’s definitely not going to ruin the next training day.

Also, if you train in the evenings pay attention to what you are doing instead of training. You may find yourself getting more screen time than usual, and I’ve personally found that the additional screen time does indeed have an effect on my ability to sleep. Try reading a book or replacing some of that screen time with a walk if that’s how you find yourself spending it.


Would you say you are “wired but tired”? If so that sounds like classic adrenal fatigue which can be related to overtraining.


Same thing here, though I actually started training to combat insomnia so it seems like I’m pretty sensitive to that kind of thing.

Weirdly enough, I think it’s gotten worse at higher volumes because I’m used to having a swim at the least on my ‘off’ days- so having nothing there feels like my schedule is super weird especially if I’m entirely sedentary. (Although, I’ve found sitting on the beach with a couple of beers as a recovery activity is more fatiguing than it has any right to be :joy:)

1 Like

Maybe this but I don’t feel overtrained. If anything I’ve been training less than usual.

Also, I’m more wired than tired.

Maybe work/life stress plays a part.

I feel the same. I also train a reasonable amount 15-20hrs per week. Part of it might be a personality thing, I know personally, I’m very structured and routine based, when I miss training, it causes some stress/anxiety, which no doubt impacts sleep.

Recovery weeks are when my sleep suffers the most, and I often skip them, which is a bad habit.

I haven’t done it, but when I look into it - meditation is commonly suggested. Don’t see how eating less would help, unless close to bed. In fact, most people doing high volume training don’t eat enough

Interesting. I’m the opposite! Was rolling about at 4am last night (this morning) unable to get back to bed after a 3 day block. Legs felt restless.

Sleep is individual to everyone but i struggled for a long time with sleep growing up to the point that I need to optimize everything in my life to ensure I can fall asleep. (No coffee after lunch, no sugars after a certain time, no blue light (phone) in bed, cold shower before bed to lower body temp etc etc.
Generally my bad sleep on rest days is because I allow myself a beer (or 3) in the evening - obviously this has a consequence on my sleep

Have you looked into those other habits that may be preventing you from falling asleep?

I need to get the correct balance, sometimes training leaves me about to shut down and sleep other times it leaves me buzzing and unable to sleep. Often its in between, my body will be shutting down and I’m unable to stay awake, then an hour or so later I wake up wide awake and often DOMS goes with it :neutral_face:

1 Like

I apologize if this is too obvious and basic, but are your recovery days active enough? In other words, the training hours can be the same as usual, just make sure the intensity is much lower. I think we have lots of options on how to keep the recovery active too. It doesn’t have to be light spinning, it could also be going for a long walk or an hour of yoga/pilates. In your case, find something that allows you to get a good night’s sleep but with the minimum amount of TSS. This is where TR expects us to be creative I guess.

1 Like

How much caffeine you getting? I find that I can sleep with more caffeine when training, but recovery weeks I need to be very careful as the lower volume of training makes me more sensitive to it.

I usually take Mondays and Fridays off training currently and the only activity I do on these days is a 2-3miles walk, perhaps I need to up it. Thinking about it I slept better when I was cycle commuting 4 or 5 days a week. I still had the same recovery days from training sessions but they were easy (28miles round but flat) commutes. For a wee while before I moved jobs when I was furloughed I tended to fill the rest days with gentle spins too and I think I slept better too :thinking:

I had decided post chemo to try and vary my exercise type from cycling to avoid osteoporosis (purely cycling isn’t good for it and chemo makes it worse) but gentle cycling seemed to have been better for my system :thinking: :thinking: