Want Better Sleep? Exercise at the Right Times

Want Better Sleep? Exercise at the Right Times

You probably think a hard workout right before you hit the pillow is the best way to get a good night’s rest, right?

What if we told you that’s wrong?

Your efforts for deep sleep may be thwarted by your efforts.

A rigorous exercise right before bed raises your body temperature and heart rate. It also does the exact opposite of what you want at night – it makes your nervous system all excited. While you may feel physically tired, your body’s systems are raring to go and not ready for sleep.

So when should you exercise? Check out our tips below.

Morning Cardio

Believe it or not, working out hard in the morning may pave the way for a better night’s sleep.

In other words, you may get a deeper sleep, which is just what the doctor ordered as that’s when your body does its restorative work. Working out as soon as you get up, whether it’s cardio or any other type of intense workouts, paves the way for a more regulated sleep/wake cycle which creates deeper sleep.

Late Afternoon Workouts

If you can barely get your feet on the floor in the morning, let alone do an intense workout, don’t worry, there are still benefits of working out in the late afternoon.

Later in the day, not only are you more awake, but your muscles are looser. You may work out harder, which has obvious benefits for your muscles, but your sleep patterns too. Working out exerts energy, which may make it easier to fall asleep faster at night.

Lift Weights at any Time

Strength training is one type of exercise you can do any time of day or night. It doesn’t elevate your blood pressure like cardio workouts do.

Lifting weights may help you fall asleep faster or wake up less during the night, depending on when you do it.

Experiment with your strength training exercises, doing them in the morning for a while to see if you fall asleep faster. If there’s no change, switch up your strength training to nighttime to see if you get less disturbed sleep. 

Don’t Sleep In

Even though every person is different, there’s one thing everyone should avoid – sleeping in too late. The longer you sleep in, the less time you have for exercise.

We don’t just mean grueling workouts, but physical activity in general. Your body needs enough exertion to get into that sleep/wake cycle.

If you sleep too much of the day away, you don’t have time to exert your energy, which makes it harder to fall asleep at night, which leads to the never-ending cycle.

If your current exercise routine isn’t facilitating great sleep patterns, try switching things up.

Doing this in combination with other routines, including winding down at night and staying away from screens for at least two hours before bedtime may help you get more and better sleep at night, including less waking up in the middle of the night.