Can Working Out Before Bedtime Help You Sleep?

We’ve known for awhile now that physical activity is one of the key components to getting quality sleep. But does getting that exercise in right before bed actually work against you if you’re having trouble sleeping?

There are schools of thought that believe working out immediately before turning in for the night can have the opposite effect of what you’re looking for when it comes to trying to tire yourself into a better night’s sleep.

Some recent studies by health and sleep experts have put this theory to the test by asking participants to take part in various types of exercise at different times, and the findings might be surprising to those that swear that feeling the burn before bed might not do you any favors.

The National Sleep Foundation conducted a study about nighttime exercise and its effects on sleep, and reported that 83% of people found exercise helped them to sleep better, no matter what time of day that they did it, while only 3% of the study participants reported any trouble being able to fall asleep after a late-night workout.

While these findings seem to suggest that getting some exercise in right before turning in won’t have any adverse effects on your ability to grab some quality sack time, there are some things that you need to keep in mind if you choose to feel the burn at night.

  • Exercise raises body temperature and heart rate
  • Vigorous exercise can make you more alert
  • Sleep is better for your health in the long run

The key to choosing the right time of day for your workout is to listen to your body. If you find yourself having trouble falling asleep after some high-intensity exercise, think about either changing the time of your workout, or switching to something that is a little less intense, such as yoga. There are definitely some people out there that find working out gets them too “hyped up” before trying to fall asleep.

And remember that sleep deprivation is a serious medical concern, which can lead to some pretty scary issues like diabetes, heart disease, and even obesity. If you find that your workout is cutting into your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep, then you need to make some adjustments to ensure that you are getting the best sleep possible. Exercise is great for your health and well-being, but it’s no substitute for good sleep!

Lack of sleep is rapidly becoming an epidemic in our country, and there have been numerous studies that link sleeplessness with reduced cognitive abilities, lower brain functioning, and even the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s later in life.

If you do choose to work out during the evening hours, be sure to set yourself up for success when it comes to getting good sleep by practicing a healthy bedtime ritual, turning off all electronics before bed, and investing in a supportive and comfortable mattress.