Exercise Before Bed: Things You Must Know If You Don’t Want To Ruin Your Sleep
There are many myths and misconception when it comes to the link between exercises and sleep. One of the most prevalent and widespread myths about exercise before bed is that working out in the night affects the quality and duration of sleep that you get. But, recent researches show that this is not accurate and that exercises can, in fact, help with sleep.
For most individuals, early morning is the best time to go to the gym or to run for a few kilometers. Working out in the morning is very convenient, and it is also easy for most individuals to maintain their routine. But for many others, it is impossible to exercise in the early morning due to various reasons with work and life commitments being the key ones.
Also, if you are not a morning person working out might not be the first thing that you want to do when you awaken. But, if the evening is the only time that you can get for your exercises here are some vital points that you should know so as to ensure that it does not ruin your sleep.
The Results And Effects Are Not The Same For Everybody
It is a fact that some people will have a hard time to fall asleep if they work out late in the evening or at night. For others, the exercises will not have any effect on their ability to fall asleep and the quality of rest that they will get. And so before you decide to start training late in the night it is important to determine the category of people you belong to so as to make sure that the activity does not affect your sleep negatively.
Experimenting for one or a couple of weeks is the best way to determine the effects of the evening workouts on your sleep. You should start exercises at least an hour before bed and do it every day for about a week to determine whether the physical activities will have any effect on your sleep. During the experiments, you should look out for things like how long it takes you to fall asleep and the length of the sleep after the exercises.
Timing Matters A Lot
If you jump straight into bed after your exercise routine, you are more likely to have difficulties sleeping. The timing of your workouts matters a lot, and it is important to plan everything in your evening schedule to ensure that you have the workouts at the most appropriate time. Establishing a bedtime routine and following it will make sure that the physical activities do not make it hard for you to snooze.
Some people will prefer to work out at least two hours after dinner and an hour before jumping into bed. Others will start with the exercises before taking their dinner and going to bed about an hour later. It is important to determine what works for you and so it might be necessary to experiment with both routines. But the most important thing is to spare about an hour after the exercise for your body temperature and adrenaline levels to normalize.
What You Do After the Exercises Is Also Important
Working out before bed is very beneficial to the body, and it makes it possible for you to do some exercise even when you have very busy days. However, what you do after your training will have an effect on your sleep. And so it is important for one to know what to do after completing the exercises and avoid jumping straight into bed.
First, you should always make sure that you take a shower at least 30 minutes after your training. Also, showering with cold water can be very beneficial as it will help to normalize your core body temperature fast. Secondly, you should make sure that you transition from your exercise by cooling down the body slowly. Make sure that you let breathing come back to normal gradually.
Lastly, it is always very helpful to do some meditation and relaxation exercises after your physical activities because this will help to lower the level of adrenaline in your body. Also, some calming essentials oils and supplements like passionflower extract and lavender oil can also aid in calming you down after your night exercises.
Read more: 7 Herbal Teas To Get Better Sleep
The Type Of Exercises That You Do Also Matter
The kind of physical activities that you do before bed also matter a lot, and they will affect your sleep. Although this will vary from one individual to the other, the golden rule should be to avoid any rigorous exercises for at least one hour before going to bed.
Engaging in activities that require you to use up a lot of energy or those that involve a lot of movement will lead to the production of a lot of adrenaline, and it might take the body many hours to suppress it. And this, in turn, means that it might take you longer to fall asleep.
Also, the rigorous exercises might make you too tired to fall asleep. To ensure that you get maximum benefits from your workouts the best idea is to do some light routines. Going to the gym for a couple of hours or running on the treadmill for about 30 minutes are some of the best ways to get the most benefits from your exercise before bed routine.
There Is Research Evidence To Show The Benefits Of Training Before Bed
There has always been a debate on whether it is good to workout before bed and how it affects sleep. So is it bad to exercise at night? The interest in this topic means that experts have been doing research on it for many years.
One of the recent ones is an American Poll by the National Sleep Foundation conducted in 2013. According to the poll, working out close to bedtime does not have even the slightest adverse effect on quality of sleep. In fact, a majority of participants in the research slept better when they workout at any time of the day including late in the night.
Lack of time in the morning or during the day should never prevent you from training your body because working out before bed is also an excellent idea. Whether you prefer to go to the gym, walk or run for some few minutes, it will help you sleep well. Also, the late night exercises have many other benefits that include the fact that they will relieve stress and anxiety and that you can also workout harder and for longer than you would in the morning.