Is Working Out Before Bed Good for You?
- Benefits of Working Out Before Bed
- Potential Risks of Working Out Before Bed
- Tips for Working Out Before Bed
If you’re looking to improve your fitness routine, you might be wondering if working out before bed is a good idea. The answer isn’t clear-cut, but there are some things to keep in mind.
Benefits of Working Out Before Bed
One of the main benefits of working out before bed is that it can help to reduce any stress and anxiety you may have before trying to fall asleep. Working Out can also help to improve your sleep quality and give you more energy the following day. However, there are also some potential risks to consider when exercising at night. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of working out before bed.
Improved Sleep Quality
One of the main benefits of exercising before bed is improved sleep quality. People who exercise regularly before bed tend to fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer, waking up feeling well-rested and energized. The effects are even more noticeable in people who struggle with sleeplessness due to stress or anxiety. Working out before bed can help reduce racing thoughts and relax your body so you can enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.
Another great benefit of exercising before bed is the release of endorphins that helps you wind down from the day and get into a relaxed state for sleep. People who exercise are often able to relax and de-stress, making it easier for them to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Plus, there is a theory that training just prior to going to sleep increases growth hormone production, which can help build muscle mass more quickly while aiding in tissue repair from physical activity.
Reduced Stress Levels
Exercising before bed has been found to have positive effects on both sleep quantity and quality, and can thus help you develop healthy sleep hygiene. Additionally, physical activity within three hours of bedtime has been linked with reductions in stress hormone secretion. Exercise triggers the release of endorphins, which are hormones that create a feeling of euphoria by suppressing the transmission of pain signals and helping to alter your emotional state. By engaging in exercise prior to bedtime, you not only help reduce stress but also improve your overall mood.
Improved Muscle Recovery
One of the primary benefits of engaging in a workout before bed is improved muscle recovery. Engaging in physical activity stimulates blood flow to the muscles, and this can help reduce muscle stiffness and soreness. Additionally, doing moderate exercise before bed can also release endorphins, which can reduce feelings of stress and induce relaxation so you’re more rested when it comes time to fall asleep.
Engaging in a light workout such as stretching or stretching-based activities like yoga can help your body relax. Similarly, light cardiovascular exercise like walking or running on a treadmill at an easy pace provides just enough stimulation to boost circulation without overstimulating the body or exhausting oneself. Working out before bed may also attenuate the cortisol response to exercise and help reduce inflammation throughout the body which is beneficial for overall recovery.
Lastly, if taking protein supplements post-workout is part of your routine, then working out before bed delivers an added benefit because those proteins will be readily available for muscle repair while you’re sleeping which helps optimize and accelerate recovery process during sleep time. Therefore, by engaging in a light workout prior to going to bed you can reap added benefits not just related better sleep but also with regards improved muscle recovery
Potential Risks of Working Out Before Bed
Working out before bed is a popular way to squeeze in some exercise during a busy day. Although it can be effective in helping you reach your fitness goals, it can also present some risks. There are several potential risks associated with exercising late in the day, and it’s important to understand these before you decide to hit the gym before bedtime. Let’s take a closer look at the potential risks of working out before bed.
Increased Risk of Injury
As beneficial as working out before bed may be, it is important to recognize the potential risks that can come with this type of exercise. One of the most common concerns with working out before bed is the increased risk of injury. Since you are going to be tired and your muscles are already relaxed from the day, it is more likely that overstretching or pushing yourself too hard could result in an injury. It is important to warm up appropriately and pay extra attention to form and technique when fatiguing your body before sleep. Additionally, performing more intense exercises such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or weightlifting could increase this risk even further due to the fact that your body will not have had sufficient time to cool down. Therefore, it is essential to maintain proper form throughout every exercise regardless of its intensity level.
Difficulty Falling Asleep
Although some people may be able to exercise in the evening without affecting their sleep, others may find they have difficulty falling asleep after exercise. If a person exercises too late, this could interfere with the body’s natural circadian rhythm and cause them to struggle to fall asleep.
Exercise can also raise body temperature and reduce melatonin levels both of which are important for normal sleep patterns. Exercise near bedtime could also release stimulatory hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline that can make it harder to relax.
Therefore, it is best for people who struggle with insomnia to limit their workouts close to bedtime. Research suggests that as little as 20 minutes of exercise can make it hard for some people to fall asleep at night. Ideally, workout sessions should be planned several hours before bed or even earlier in the day if possible.
Increased Risk of Insomnia
When it comes to questions related to working out before bed, one of the potential risks is increased difficulty in sleeping. Exercising before bed can cause your core body temperature to rise and it may take a long time for your body to cool down. Additionally, endorphins released during exercise can lead to greater levels of arousal and alertness which make restful sleep difficult. If you have problems sleeping, avoid rigorous exercise for several hours before bedtime. Other forms of physical activity such as gentle stretching or yoga practice may be more suitable at this time if you still want some level of physical activity before bed.
Tips for Working Out Before Bed
Working out before bed can have many positive benefits, such as improved sleep quality, increased alertness during the day, and relief from stress. If you are looking to maximize your performance in the gym and get the most out of your workout, it is important to make sure you are working out before bed in a safe and effective manner. In this article, we will discuss some important tips for working out before bed.
Choose Low-Intensity Activities
If you plan on working out before bedtime, opt for low-intensity activities such as yoga, light jogging, or walking. These kinds of activities may help to increase relaxation levels before bed, as well as reduce stress. A warm bath before bed can also help to facilitate a good night’s sleep. Avoid vigorous exercises such as weight lifting or running vigorously for at least two hours before going to sleep. Doing so increases your heart rate and overall body temperature that may lead to difficulty falling asleep.
Avoid Eating Before Bed
It is recommended to avoid eating several hours before bed so that your body can digest the food and rest appropriately. Eating late increases your metabolic rate and stimulates digestion, which can make falling asleep more difficult. It’s best to eat a light snack such as a banana or piece of whole wheat toast a few hours before you go to sleep. This will help provide you with enough energy for your workout, but not too much that it will disrupt your sleep later on. Be sure to stay hydrated before, during and after exercising as well, as this can affect the quality of your sleep as well.
Staying hydrated before your workout is key to having a successful session before bed. During exercise, try to follow the general rule of thumb of drinking at least 16-20 ounces of water or other hydrating beverages in the two hours leading up to your workout.
Keeping your water intake consistent throughout the day is important, whether you’re working out or not – so don’t forget to include hydration as part of your pre-workout routine. Additionally, if you plan on doing more intense activity than usual, such as running for longer than 20 minutes or a more rigorous exercise class such as HIIT (high intensity interval training) or spin, it may be a good idea to carry a water bottle with you to stay hydrated during the workout.
While water is the best option for staying hydrated while working out before bed, other light liquids such as low-sugar electrolyte beverages can also help replace any minerals that may have been lost due to sweat.
Ultimately, the best time to exercise is whenever you can and are able to. If you are able to fit working out before bed into your routine, and it is feasible for you, the practice can bring you productivity and health benefits that sleep can’t provide. However, it is important to ensure that you are adequately rested, as sleep is still an important part of any fitness routine.
Summary of Benefits and Risks
Exercising before bed is a controversial topic – with both benefits and risks to consider. On the positive side, working out at night can help reduce stress and improve sleep quality. It can also help maintain a healthy body weight and provide an opportunity to fit exercise into a busy lifestyle. On the downside, exercising too close to bedtime may cause difficulty falling or staying asleep, as well as increased muscle soreness the next morning.
Before engaging in late night workouts, it’s important to assess your overall health and give careful consideration to these potential risks. In general, moderate aerobic exercises such as walking or gentle stretching are recommended for those looking for late-night fitness options. It’s also important to wind down before bed with calming activities like reading or listening to music, which can help ease you into a restful sleep after exercise.
Suggested Alternatives to Working Out Before Bed
The suggestion from the majority of sleep researchers that one not work out too close to bedtime is based on the fact that exercise stimulates endorphin production and can raise energy levels, making it harder for some people to relax and get restful sleep. Therefore, if working out late in the day (within 2-3 hours before bed) is causing insomnia or disturbed sleep, it makes sense to explore smarter ways of fitting exercise into one’s overall routine.
Two alternatives are:
1. Early Morning Workouts – Many people find they have more willpower at the beginning of their day and even making time for a 30 minute jog or weight training session prior to breakfast will lead to better performance during the day than trying to fit it in at night.
2. Mid-Day Workouts – For those who lack time in the mornings, midday offers a great opportunity during lunchtime or breaks at work. Even if one lacks access or sufficient funds for a full gym membership, regular walks during a break period can make an incredible difference over time. Additionally, fitness trackers such as FitBit are great motivators for individuals looking for an easier way than ever before to track daily activities.
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