There's no doubt about it. There are just heaps to reap from a regular exercise routine. If you want to lose weight, sweat it out. Go to the gym, join a yoga class, or get into the habit of running. If it's better heart health that you're aiming for, do cardio and aerobic exercises.
Do you have trouble sleeping? Go ahead and exercise! Physical activity does wonders for your system for promoting better sleep.
Then again, focusing on the latter- exercise for better sleep- you might wonder what the best time of day is to work out to sleep better at night.
At night. It's at this time of day when most people sleep. So you could be asking. Is it a good idea to exercise before bedtime? Will my sleep quality improve if I do evening exercise?
The benefits of exercise before sleeping are hefty. For some reason, it may be the best time for you to get your body up and running. The books say that morning or daytime is the aptest time to work out, but you can only do so much on your busy schedule. So in the evening, you must do your exercise. The question goes: Is it worth it?
Is It Safe To Exercise In The Outdoors At Night?
It doesn't have to be precarious to go out and exercise in the evening. There is potential danger anytime and anywhere regardless of what somebody is doing, and that includes outdoor exercising at night. It's when you have to take the necessary precautions.
One of them is wearing the right gear, such as reflective clothing, and a premium-quality NightBuddy LED Headlamp. A night lamp is important for keeping you visible to motorists and for lighting your path.
You'll want to avoid untoward incidences, so it makes sense to invest in the best running or cycling gear when exercising at night. A head torch for running will be essential.
Factors To Consider When Exercising Before Bed
There is no definite "yes" or "no" answer to the question "Is it beneficial to exercise before sleep?". Primarily, it's because if you do it the wrong way, you'll get contrary results. High-intensity exercise an hour or less before bedtime will make you hyperactive. Heavy physical activity releases endorphins in your brain which, for the most part, makes you more energetic.
If you exercise way too close to your sleeping time, you'll not be able to doze off because of increased energy levels. Factor #1 when it comes to getting quality sleep when exercising before bedtime is TIMING.
Studies have shown that evening workouts bring plenty of perks. But you have to do it earlier, like a few hours before your sleep time. At the least, make it 1.5 hours so that your energy levels will have time to slow down, making you feel relaxed and consequently boosting your sleep efficiency.
Another factor to consider when exercising before bedtime is how vigorous your workouts are. This refers to INTENSITY.
Note that during vigorous exercise, your body has heightened adrenaline and cortisol levels. When doing cardio exercises or any form of workout, a spike in your blood pressure, heart rate, and metabolic rate transpires. Combine this with the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol and your core body temperature will increase.
This particular condition wherein your body is in stress mode as it contends with an above-normal body temperature obstructs your ability to fall asleep. It'll bring about poor quality of sleep, to begin with. Your sleep efficiency will be hampered under this circumstance and in turn, you'll have a lesser amount of sleep.
The solution, in this case, is to perform moderate-intensity workouts instead, enough to burn calories while inducing relaxation that'll, later on, make you fall asleep easier and give you a longer duration of sleep.
What Are The Benefits Of Exercising Before Bedtime?
Aside from the fact that you're busy in the daytime, there are many benefits of exercising in the evening, or before going to sleep. It's a time when all of the day's work has been wrapped up and the only thing you need to worry about is getting your forty winks.
If you're a night owl, you'll love the hang of evening workouts, with plus points such as:
#1 It provides good quality sleep that boosts physical and mental well-being
The Journal of Sports Medicine, in a recent meta-analysis, stated that slow-wave sleep or deep sleep is intensified by evening workouts. This mechanism is necessary to foster muscle strength, muscle recovery, and improved memory.
#2 It increases your urge to sleep, making you fall asleep easily
As long as done within a safe time frame, heavy exercise in the evening increases melatonin secretion by almost 50%. This ought to take place when your body is already producing peak amounts of this sleep-inducing hormone. It can help treat and allay certain sleep disorders.
#3 It enables you to perform better in your sport or physical activity
You're more vigorous when you exercise at night than in the morning. Especially when you're doing aerobic exercises. Studies have proven that people who work out at night exert effort 20% longer and harder than when they do in the daytime.
In the evening when temperatures are higher, your muscles become stronger and more flexible.
#4 It's an effective way to decompress
What better way to let off steam than to exercise a few hours before bed? Physical activity can help you disconnect from the stresses of the day, more so if it is followed by a warm bath.
You'll feel a sense of optimal health and get sufficient hours of sleep when you exercise at night. The "feel good" hormone endorphins are responsible for this. They are released as you do your exercise regimen.
Exercise you can do can range from running, cycling, or stretching, among others.
#5 You can tidy up your morning schedule
You know that internal clock that compels you to wake up in the morning? Yet when you hear the alarm, you just have to hit the snooze button to get your extra zzz's. Especially when you have a morning exercise routine to accomplish.
But you can make the most and give in to your daytime sleepiness if you exercise at night. When you get on with your physical fitness obligations in the evening, you'll have less to worry about in the morning and for the rest of your day.
#6 It will augment your nutrition
A lot of people are worried about exercising and eating at night and then gaining weight. It's a myth that has long been debunked. Manage your eating habits, in the same way as your exercise habits and sleep habits.
Eat moderately after exercising at night, and food that is single macronutrient and nutrient dense. You can better control your weight through this.
Consume preferably enough protein meals following your workout so that your amino acid concentration will be enhanced. Work out and have optimal sleep in the nighttime, and your body will better absorb protein.
Conclusion: Do It Right and You'll Get The Best Benefits
Regular workouts at night have effects on sleep quality. But there are rules to follow and you have to do it right.
In the same way as your exercise regimen, have a consistent sleep schedule. Let your workout routine accord with your sleep cycles. Late-night workouts should not be a cause of sleep deprivation. As you work to improve your health and your body, you must foster sleep hygiene as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best exercise before bed?
An intense workout is generally not recommended before going to sleep. But you can do sports like running or cycling for several to a few hours before going to bed. For a relaxing and peaceful night of sleep, you can do some meditative stretching exercises like yoga before dozing off.
Is it okay to work out 30 minutes before sleeping?
Typically, you should stop working out at least 30 minutes before retiring to give time for your heart rate to decelerate and for your body temperature to cool down. However, it is recommended that you give a leeway of 1.5 hours for this process especially if your heart rate is high.
Does exercising at night cause weight loss?
The correlation between morning exercise and weight loss is more established. However, there is some evidence showing that working out in the evening causes a reduction in weight as well.
If you're having problems with poorer sleep quality, you can resort to doing yoga stretching for relaxation and better sleep.