MYTH BUSTED: Nighttime Exercise Does NOT Prevent Sleep

Doctors used to advise against engaging in any moderate to heavy physical exercise during the night. The scientific consensus was that exercising too close to bedtime could interrupt the natural onset of sleep. And it’s a theory that made sense.

Exercise does put the mind and body into a focused state. And it’s understandable that this type of heightened awareness brought about by physical exercise can serve as a cue for wakefulness.

However, fairly recent research suggests otherwise. In fact…

Exercising at Any Time Can Significantly Improve Sleep

Just look at those happy, well-rested faces.

In 2013, the National Sleep Foundation aka NSF conducted the Sleep in America Poll. It involved 1000 adults ages 23 to 60. The goal was to assess the relationship between time of exercise, intensity of exercise, and sleep quality in a large sample study.

The recorded outcomes included total sleep time, self-reported sleep quality, sleep latency (how quickly they fell asleep), and whether or not participants woke up feeling refreshed.

According to the results, those who exercised vigorously in the mornings (more than 8 hours before bedtime) slept best. They enjoyed a higher rate of reporting good quality sleep and waking up feeling refreshed.

Meanwhile, those who exercised vigorously at night (less than 4 hours before bedtime) reported much better sleep duration (98%) and quality (97%) on the days that they exercised compared to when they did not.

In short, whether you exercise in the morning or at night, you can most likely expect a significant improvement in how well you sleep.

Strength Training at Different Times Can Improve Sleep in Different Ways

You meow not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like.

In related research by the NSF, anytime is a good time for strength training if you’re concerned with sleeping well. However, doing it in the morning can result in different sleep benefits compared to when you do it at night.

Morning weightlifters tend to fall asleep quicker than those who prefer to work out later. Meanwhile, the advantage for nighttime exercisers is that they wake up less frequently throughout the night, which typically results in overall better sleep compared to those who prefer to pump iron in the mornings.

Cardio in the Morning Can Improve Deep Sleep

Early AM cardio can help in naturally reducing your blood pressure come bedtime. In healthy people, blood pressure naturally drops by 10 to 20% when it’s time to sleep.

But in people with diseases like sleep apnea, this natural reduction in blood pressure doesn’t happen, and it’s one of the reasons why they don’t sleep well. One of the ways to remedy this is through an early morning run, yoga class, or any other moderate to vigorous cardio workout.

Additionally, the reduced blood pressure may also promote more time spent in deep sleep, allowing you to recover faster from both stress and injury.

No More Excuses: If You Want to Sleep and Feel Better, Exercise!

According to the NSF, as long as you can manage at least 150 minutes of medium to heavy workouts per week, you can enjoy as much as a 65% improvement in overall sleep quality. And you can rack up those 150 minutes per week whenever you’re available.

In almost any recent research or study regarding sleep and time of exercise, exercise is linked to better sleep – no matter what time of the day it’s done.

So it’s up to you to pick which schedule works best for your needs and availability. If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, you might be better off prioritizing morning cardio workouts. But if you can’t fit that into your schedule, afternoon or evening strength training could be just as beneficial at giving you uninterrupted sleep throughout the night.

So, no more excuses: any time window can be used for exercise and result in a more revitalizing sleep.

Those who think they have no time for exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.

The History of the Bed, the Mattress, and Other Fascinating Stories
October 17, 2019
Arguably, the bed has got to be the best invention, man has ever made. There are many great inventions, but can you imagine not having your own comfortable bed to lie on today? Imagine not having a bed to rest on at the end of a long, tiring day?! Sure, you can lie down anywhere... View Article
read more
6 Reasons to Buy Your Mattress Online
September 26, 2019
Sometimes it’s quite a hassle to buy a mattress because of its size. Cumbersome even, you may say. How do you transport a bulky purchase across the city and how do you even bring it up to the rooms? The idea of doing all of these could be intimidating to some. However, we do need... View Article
read more
Goodbye Sleepless Nights: Sleep-Train Your Toddler
September 26, 2019
Our babies have many important needs and parents would naturally want to fulfill those. As parents, alongside making sure our little ones are well fed, ensuring they get enough sleep is at the top of our checklist. It goes without saying that sleep is important for everyone, most especially for these little ones. Sleep boosts... View Article
read more
12 Annoying Health Side Effects of Sleeping On A Bad Mattress
September 17, 2019
You’ve been spending most of your nights on your mattress – 4 – 10 hours for adults, and surprisingly, not too many people have considered changing their mattress unless the springs have come to pop out, or until they’ve started to feel lumpy. But consider this – since we’ve been spending a lot of time... View Article
read more
Spine Care and the Importance of Your Mattress
September 02, 2019
Back pain is one of the most debilitating pains you can have. There are many different reasons that you can be experiencing back pain. One of the things that you can do is to get a good mattress. On the other hand, having a bad mattress can also be a source of back pain. There... View Article
read more
Important Facts You Need to Know About Sleep And Mental Health
July 26, 2019
It is a long known scientific fact, that’s sleep or the lack of it, has a significant impact on mental health. It is more than just getting enough sleep, but also includes the quality and the depth of the sleep that is achieved. There’s a big difference between someone who is able to sleep for... View Article
read more
Why Is Sleep Important for Weight Loss?
July 26, 2019
Weight loss is a challenging task and doesn’t happen overnight. There’s no magical pill nor is someone going to snap their fingers and make all that unwanted weight disappear. Instead, it’s time to look at the importance of good habits such as sleeping well throughout the night. If you are not getting enough sleep, you... View Article
read more
Don't Drink Coffee First Thing in the Morning!
November 01, 2017
Having coffee first thing in the morning is a ritual that a lot of coffee drinkers subscribe to. But is first thing in the morning really the best time for caffeine? The short answer is: not really. And that’s because most humans are wired to have high levels of cortisol usually between 8 to 9AM. This... View Article
read more
20 Quick and Easy Halloween Costumes for When You're Too Tired / It's Too Late to Make an Effort
October 30, 2017
Halloween is an offshoot of the ancient Celtic Festival of Samhain, which was mainly celebrated to appease ghosts, demons, witches, goblins, deities, and all other supernatural powers that controlled nature. It is perhaps fitting that this ancient festival has somehow morphed into modern Halloween: a celebration of today’s global influencers, the cultural icons that dominate the current... View Article
read more

Your Cart