I am so not a morning person. I might have mentioned this previously. To me, morning is for sleeping and you shouldn’t have to get up until the sun has warmed everything.
I’d much prefer staying up late. It’s just how I’m wired, although as I’m getting older I can’t stay up as late as I once did and still expect to function at work in the morning.
Yet, even going to bed earlier because I can’t stay up as late hasn’t made me a morning person. It’s just made me a tired night person.
This is all a lead-in to my present dilemma.
Am not a morning person, so I run in the evenings. Always have. Problem that I’m seeing just recently, in the last month or so, is that after my evening run, I can’t fall asleep!
This bothers me because I have never had insomnia nor have my evening runs ever prevented me from sleeping. On the contrary, my evening runs exhausted me and I’d fall into an immediate, sound sleep.
Not lately, however. Now I find myself lying awake in bed tossing and turning. Some of it might be hormones like Adrenaline coursing through my veins, while some could be that my muscles and joints start to ache if I stay in one position too long, which forces me to change position, waking me up.
So my preamble to this was to demonstrate that switching my runs to the morning is a no go. That isn’t going to happen. Morning runs aren’t productive for me. I’m exhausted and can’t push myself the way I can in the evening, therefore I don’t improve.
Now, as an aside, I’m not one to take medication unless I have to (like the ones my doctor prescribes to keep me alive). I rarely take aspirin, but then I rarely get headaches. And the few times I’ve been prescribed pain medication, I’ve only used it if the pain became a 15 on a scale of 1 to 10.
For example, I had my wisdom teeth, all four, removed as a teen. The dentist gave me a bottle of pain killers. I never used them. In fact, I was eating popcorn that night. I will not be denied my popcorn!
The other night, however, Tuesday it was, I decided to try some Ibuprofen PM. Pain medication with a sleep aid. Now I have never in my life taken a sleep aid. Never. I’ve always had a fear of them. Of getting addicted. Of not getting real REM sleep. Of becoming one of those zombie-like people who are alternating between amphetamines and barbituates.
But I thought I’d try it just this once.
And it worked. I slept through the night. I had no joint pain and my brain took a break. Although the sleep aid did nothing for the dogs, they still had to get up, completely uncaring that I was now groggier than normal to put them out for their 1:00 AM piss.
The next morning, I woke refreshed without the usual joint stiffness I experience these days after exercise. I didn’t hobble down the stairs, groaning and grimacing.
So what did I learn?
I’m not sure. I run again tonight and I’ll try the Ibuprofen PM again tonight and we’ll see what tomorrow brings.
Maybe just using it on run days I won’t get addicted?
Or is there something else I could do to help me sleep?
Do you take pain meds/sleep aids after exercise? How is that working for you? I’d like to know if I’m in the minority here. Or if I’m being overly paranoid.