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Is a night workout affecting my sleep?

Is a night workout affecting my sleep?

There are so many exercise myths, and one of them includes night workouts making it harder for you to get to sleep. This has been perpetuated by many researchers who have just accepted this assumption.

However a study from Institute of Human Movement Sciences and Sport at ETH Zurich suggests otherwise.

Researchers analysed the findings of 23 studies, and concluded that intense training 4 hours before going to bed does not have a negative effect on sleep quality. In fact, subjects who participated in evening sports spent 21.2% of their time sleeping in a deep state. Overall, the deep sleep average is 19.9% with the only exception showing training within an hour of bed can make it harder to fall asleep.

In addition, Harvard Medical school explain that traditionally, experts have recommended not exercising at night as part of good sleep hygiene. Now a new study, published Oct. 29, 2018, in Sports Medicine, suggests that you can exercise in the evening as long as you avoid vigorous activity for at least one hour before bedtime. Read Article

Not only did they find that evening exercise not affect sleep, it seemed to help people fall asleep faster and spend more time in deep sleep.

However, those who did high intensity exercise (such as interval training) — less than one hour before bedtime took longer to fall asleep and had poorer sleep quality.

So what's the takeaway?

Getting regular exercise any time of the day can be added to your list of good sleep hygiene habits, but avoid strenuous physical activity late in the evening within an hour before bed.

In addition, you can get quality sleep by doing the following:

  • Set a regular bedtime and adopt a relaxing bedtime routine.
  • Turn off devices that give off light, such as the TV, computer, and phone, at least 15 to 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Be sure your bed is comfortable and your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool.
  • Don't take long naps during the day. If you need a nap, restrict it to 20 to 30 minutes in the early afternoon.
  • If you can't fall asleep after 15 to 20 minutes, go to another room. Read quietly with a dim light until you feel sleepy.
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