Is It Bad To Workout Before Bed?
Is it bad to workout before bed? This is a common question, especially for people who don’t have time to exercise early in the day.
You need regular exercise and good quality sleep to remain in good mental and physical health. However, understanding how these important activities work or affect each other can help you strike a good balance.
Many people assume that exercising before bedtime can make it difficult to fall into a restful sleep. But this is not entirely correct.
Read on to learn all you need to understand about workouts and sleep.
Why Do Some People Workout Before Bed?
Working out before bed can help you fall asleep faster.
Practicing some exercises like yoga, meditation, stretching, walking, and breathing relaxation at home before bed can improve your sleep quality.
However, working out too close to your bedtime will most likely disrupt your sleep. It is common to work out indoors at home before bedtime.
But if you prefer doing some exercises outdoors before the day gets dark, it is still beneficial. Your body will be exposed to natural light which can help you maintain a good sleep-wake cycle.
Some people who prefer to exercise before bed tend to fall asleep faster and wake up feeling refreshed and more alive.
Usually, your body temperature changes when you workout. Your body warms up during exercises and cools down after about two hours.
This cooling down tells your body to get ready for sleep and relaxation. It is for this reason that working out later in the evening can help you sleep faster.
However, you should choose low or moderate-intensity exercises. This is because doing strenuous exercises, especially close to your bedtime can make you stay awake longer than necessary at night.
It is best to do low-intensity exercises before going to bed. This allows you to reap the health benefits of working out and also avoid an excessive increase in your body temperature and heart rate.
Benefits of Workout Before Bed
Exercise at night can give you a good option to stay consistent with your workout routine no matter your reasons.
You may miss out on group classes and the morning boost you get before facing your daily activities, though. Still, there are plenty of benefits.
Improves Sleep Disorders and Insomnia
In case you are experiencing insomnia, Aerobic exercise can help reduce symptoms of insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Performing suitable exercises before bedtime can help lower the intensity of sleep-disordered breathing. Also, the activity can relax your body and reduce serious sleep apnea.
Improves Sleep Quality
Spending some quality time in deep sleep is crucial to your overall wellbeing since sleep is a restorative period for your body and mind.
Exercises promote this type of deep and restorative sleep.
Also, enjoying quality shuteye every night can support your heart health and boost your immune system to keep you healthy and strong.
Increases Your Sleep Duration
Being physically active before bed means you use up much of your energy, leading to tiredness. This is a good way to increase your sleep duration.
Exercise such as yoga is good for winding down because it gets you into a relaxed state, both physically and mentally.
Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety
The primary cause of sleep problems and restlessness at night is stress. Working during evenings can trigger your body’s anti-anxiety responses.
In addition, exercises before bedtime can reduce your blood pressure and help lower cortisol levels.
Simple stretches and yoga can also relax your parasympathetic nervous system, leading to a calmer state.
Disconnects You From the Day’s Stress
Engaging in exercises after your daily activities can help you clear your mind and thoughts, plus it can even strengthen you against future stress.
Drawbacks of Workout Before Bed
Regardless of all the benefits, working out before bedtime also has a few drawbacks.
Exercise Can Disrupt Your Sleep
Reasonably calm workouts can help improve your sleep. However, doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) less than one hour before sleep can negatively affect your sleep. It can make you wake up several times throughout the night.
If nighttime is your only option for workouts, consider less vigorous exercises, like yoga or easy jogging.
Obstruction of Plans
Other seemingly more important plans can come up and obstruct your evening or night exercises.
These types of obstructions are common in many cases and can become an excuse to skip the day’s workout.
Lack of Group Classes
Instructor-led group workouts are mostly available during the day. If you live in a place where gyms don’t offer nighttime classes, you will miss out on instructor-led group workouts.
Difficult to Build Consistency
If you exercise in the morning, then you are more likely to stay consistent with your workouts compared to someone who engages in afternoon or evening exercises.
This is usually because other spontaneous or distracting activities like TV and social events can get in the way.
However, everyone’s daily activities vary. If evening exercises work for you, it is important to find a way to build consistency by planning your workouts and sticking to your goals.
Best Exercises To Do Before Bed
Stretches and mild exercises are some of the best natural remedies for falling asleep and feeling rested when you wake up.
Consider doing some of the activities below at least 90 minutes before bedtime.
- Seated forward bend: This works your lower back and loosens up your spine, shoulders, and hamstrings.
- Child’s pose: This is an excellent pose to tune into your breath. The child’s pose relaxes your body and eases stress. It is good for reducing tension in your back, shoulders, and neck.
- Neck stretches: These stretches will ease tension from your head, neck, and shoulders. However, it is good to maintain a good posture when doing these exercises.
- Bear hug: This strengthens your rhomboids and trapezius muscles located at your upper back. Also, it relieves shoulder blade pains from poor posture.
- Low lunge: Ensure to remain very relaxed when you do this exercise. The low lunge strengthens your groin, hips, thighs, and eases out any tension on the chest.
- Reclining bound angle pose: If you spend most of your day sitting, consider doing this exercise to reduce muscle tension in your hips and groin.
- Legs-up-the-wall pose: This is known as the restorative pose because it helps to ease out tension from your neck, shoulders, and back. It is great for putting your body into a relaxed state.
- Kneeling lat stretch: This exercise helps to relax your back muscles and shoulders. It also relieves pain and discomfort.
Workouts To Avoid Before Bedtime
Avoid strenuous activities in the evening, especially close to your bedtime.
Engaging in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) shortly before sleep will likely have a negative effect on your sleep.
You may have trouble falling asleep. And when you eventually do, you will not enjoy a relaxing sleep. You will likely wake up the next morning not feeling fully refreshed.
Is it bad to workout before bed? Here’s a simple answer to this question. Regular workouts can be beneficial to your body and improve your sleep routine.
But do not perform strenuous physical activities late in the evening because it can interfere with your sleep.