Do Late Night Exercises Affect The Quality Of Your Sleep?
Each one of us needs enough sleep to keep a healthy mind and body. Above anybody else, it’s the military who should have quality sleep to think and act at their best. It’s fair to say that lack of sleep can surely affect their performance of duty and their lives as a whole. However, some are afraid that when they get to exercise late at night, they would experience post-workout insomnia.
To help them find the answers, we sought research findings and inputs – backed up by science – to correct such myths and skepticism about this. Read on and learn what science has to tell you about working out before bedtime.
What Science Says
According to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, more than 80 percent of people who exercise (day or night) tend to sleep better than those who do not exercise. So, when in doubt, if you are having a tough time sleeping, get some exercise during running to your bed or couch, and see it if helps.
The National Sleep Foundation Concluded:
“While some believe exercising near bedtime can adversely affect sleep and sleep quality, no major differences were found between the data for individuals who say they have done vigorous and/or moderate activity within four hours of bedtime compared to their counterparts (those who did vigorous or moderate activity more than four hours before bedtime).
According to the 2013 Sleep in America® poll, the conclusion can be drawn that exercise, or physical activity in general, is generally good for sleep, regardless of the time of day the activity is performed.”
The Foundation Poll Found That:
- 83% of vigorous exercisers reported very or fairly good sleep quality, vs. 56% of non-exercisers.
- 67% of vigorous exercisers reported a good night’s sleep on all or most work nights, vs. 39% of non-exercisers.
- Exercisers and non-exercisers reported about the same amount of sleep, just under seven hours a night.
- Against expectations and general recommendations for sleep hygiene, high self-perceived exercise exertion before bedtime was associated with better sleep patterns in a sample of healthy young adults.
Hence, WebMD notes that anecdotal evidence cautions some people to avoid late night training sessions. However, if you give yourself three hours to calm down, reduce your body temperature, shower, and relax, a late-night cardio or lifting session has little to no effect on your sleep patterns as mentioned in the study above.
Give Your Body Enough Time To Recuperate.
The bottom line and a common recommendation of sleep experts is to avoid intensely exercising within three hours of bedtime so you have adequate time to wind down.
The research identified that many people will sleep better if they exercise — even if that exercise is done in the evening, as late as an hour or two before bed. If your lifestyle is such that you can only exercise at night, then there are ways to improve your chances of sleeping well.
After all, exercising at night is preferable to abandoning your exercise routine altogether and losing all of those important health benefits. Sleep and exercise are equally important for your health, so the trick is to develop a routine that optimizes both.
The Best Way To Ensure A Good Night’s Sleep Might Be Breaking A Sweat.
Meanwhile, a separate “exercise and sleep study” administered by the European Sleep Study Society, the research team found that exercising in the evening a few hours before bed had no effect on quality of sleep. In fact, it even gives a dozen of benefits in the promotion of good sleep.
A night person who is most productive between the hours of 10pm and 2am may feel little effect with a midnight run or resistance training session. In fact, it may even help them relax more and get to sleep faster.
So the next time you’d have a hard time getting hold of a good sleep, try jogging at midnight or perhaps brisk walking in the moonlight.
So folks, especially our fellas in the military, if you think late night exercise works for you, just do it. That’s new advice from a leading sleep group and other experts in sleep and exercise, all of whom say it’s time to throw out the old rule that you should never exercise in the hours just before bedtime. Sleep tight!
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