Does exercise at nighttime affect sleep?

With busy schedules we sometimes find ourselvesexercising early in the morning or late at night when it is most convenient. It’s a common assumption that working out too late at night will make it difficult to fall asleep.

According to research done at the University of South Carolina’s Dept. of Exercise Science, working out actually helps you fall asleep. In most cases, exercise up to 30 minutes prior to bedtime will not impair sleep.

This is not true for all types of exercise. Some things like basketball and racquetball generate a lot of mental stimulation. It takes the mind longer to calm down and may be the main culprit to trouble sleeping and disturbed sleep.

Exercise before bed that works.
Physical activity that is repetitive is the best choice for working out late at night. One of the most effective activities is jogging. Aftera little bit of running, the mind relaxes and wanders free from worry. Sometimes it feels like a meditative state can be reached.

Relaxation after a late night workout is essential to successfully transitioning to sleep. The mind may already be fairly relaxed depending on the workout.

The best way to relax before bed is through stretch and breath work. Stretching and deep breathing are essential to help the mind and body transition to a state of relaxation. A great guide to deep breathing and stretching is Elisabeth Halfpapp’s Night Moves series on Bedtime Network.

Put simply, exercise helps remove barriers to sleep. It helps dissolve the stresses of the day.

The rhythmic movement of jogging also generates a sense of relaxation. This makes it easier for the mind and body to reach deeper levels of relaxation. Try it for yourself, take a jog before bed and see if it helps you fall asleep.