Sometimes I have no choice but to work out around 7 p.m. My workout usually lasts 1hr. I'm home around 8:15-8:30 and I have to have dinner. Then I try to be in bed by 10-10:30 p.m becauseI have to wake up at 5:30-5:45 each morning for work. Problem is, I often can't fall asleep at night. The next day feels like hell. I'm exhausted. And because I'm so tired, I usually end up skipping my workout the next day. The good side is I actually sleep on those nights, but then the day after (the day I workout), I can't sleep and the cycle starts again. What can I do? I hate feeling exhausted and not having any energy to workout!
I know I wouldn't be able to, but... wake up at 4:30am and work out then?
It sounds god awful, but I know there are people who do just that (and you'd be able to go to bed earlier if you didn't have your workout in the evening).
It could be the exercise causing you to have trouble sleeping, in which case I'd agree you could try exercising before work rather than after.
But it could also be you're having trouble sleeping because you eat so late, some people sleep better eating so close to bedtime and some sleep worse. You could try eating right after work and then exercising and see if that makes any difference, though you'd want to leave some calories for a healthy after-exercise snack so your muscles are getting the fuel they need to rebuild tissue.
I always work out in the evening, and I sleep just fine, but that may be because I eat half of dinner before I go. I usually eat dinner then go to the gym around 6, getting home between 8 and 9. I have a little snack, a shower, and go to bed. The shower really helps I think, I would not be able to sleep feeling icky from sweat.
I would bet that it has more to do with what time you eat dinner than what time you work out. Try having a more substantial lunch and a smaller dinner before you workout. Then have something easily digestable, like a shake or a banana, but you go to bed so you don't wake up hungry in the middle of the night.
Taking a hot bath after your work out may help. I know a lot of people don't believe that aromatherapy works but maybe buy some lavender or chamomile candles? Also Bath and Body works has this great body wash, lotion, and pillow spray that is called "tranquility" that always makes be feel relaxed.
Unfortunately, when you work out in the evening (with many people) it does cause restlessness. I'm a terrible insomniac. I used to work out alot in the evening and had to stop as I had the SAME problem. I have found if the evening is the only time I have to work out, I try to do it when I won't be going to sleep for several hours afterwards. The endorphines your body creates when you workout are still working long after your workout.....this keeps the metabolism running high, which in turn keeps the blood going and therefore, you have that energy pulsing through your body. My suggestion would be, like others have suggested, to try the hot bath, but when you do, try it with some aromatherapy (lavendar works best) to help CALM the body and mind. Like Skinnylea above said, Lavendar and Chamomile are great. There are many nice bath salts that not only smell good, but have great calming qualities. Also, if you have a cup of hot chamomile tea about half hour to an hour before you go to bed, that also helps. Everyone is different in the way their bodies handle workouts. I just happen to be like you and can't sleep in the evening if I workout too soon before I have to sleep. Remembering also, that your mind needs to be calm as well......I find a good sudoku puzzle before bed puts my mind into a haze.....LOL It has recently been found also, that if your body DOESN'T have enough energy, it can cause lack of sleep......so you have lots of things to look at. I've never had it be a problem because of what I ate for dinner, unless it was something really gaseous
Now you are probably more confused than ever.......LOL
Just do what works for YOU........try different things and eventually you'll get it figured out. I'm not a morning person, so for me personally, getting up earlier to work out sucks and I won't do it. I'm into fitness, but I am no longer into beating myself up over it.