What Time of Day is Best to Exercise for Your Sleep?
For many of us, a new year brings the opportunity for new beginnings. That often means New Year’s resolutions to exercise. Getting into the habit of exercising is not easy and a new exercise routine can actually affect your body in many ways, including how well you sleep. In fact, the time of day you choose to exercise can significantly impact how easily you fall asleep. Below is some useful information that can help you find ways to exercise more and stay well rested at the same time.
Most experts believe that early morning is the best time of day for exercise. When we first wake up, our bodies are primed to start burning fat. In the morning, our hormones and metabolism are usually at their peak for exercise. Some research has even shown that it may be easier to stick to exercising as a healthy habit if you do it first thing in the morning. This correlation is likely because there are usually fewer obligations that can get in the way of exercising when you do it early in the morning.
When it comes to sleep quality and exercise, a morning exercise routine can shift your circadian rhythm. You may find yourself feeling more awake earlier in the day and sleepier earlier in the evening. In fact, people who work out early in the morning usually experience a deeper, more restorative sleep at night. Morning exercise encourages your body to adopt a healthy routine that includes a good night’s sleep.
On the other hand, some people dislike early mornings so much that their exercise routine suffers for it. If you find that your morning workouts are always low-intensity because you have trouble waking up, then you may want to try exercising in the afternoon instead.
If morning exercise is simply not for you, then you will be happy to know that an afternoon workout has great benefits, too. If you wait until the afternoon to exercise, then you may experience a performance boost. In the afternoon, your body is warmer, you have likely eaten which means it is easier to get your body up and moving to burn some energy. An afternoon workout can also keep your energy up and prevent typical afternoon slumps. The afternoon energy boosts are great if you work until 5 or 6 pm most evenings.
As far as sleep is concerned, an afternoon workout is an excellent alternative to morning exercise. Afternoon exercise, especially if it is aerobic, can also shift your body clock. Afternoon workouts tend to raise body temperature for several hours, so when your body starts to cool back down in the evening, it is a signal to your brain to start shifting into sleep mode. Not only can this help improve sleep routines, it can even help overcome sleep disorders, such as insomnia.
The evening is widely regarded as the worst time of day for exercise largely because many believe that strenuous exercise at night can keep you awake. This is true if you engage in high-intensity workouts and then plan to go to bed immediately after. If you are someone who needs to work out in the evening, just avoid high-intensity workouts. Instead, try low-intensity exercises like yoga or stretching that burn calories while also inciting relaxation.
If you want to work out in the evening without disrupting sleep, then something like yoga or stretching may actually help you fall asleep earlier. Low-intensity activities can help relieve stress, making them a nice addition to a healthy sleep routine. Some research has even shown that nighttime workouts can help eliminate nighttime snacking.
Although your sleep can still benefit from a low-intensity evening workout, your calorie burn will not benefit as much. Because you want to avoid high-intensity workouts late in the evening, it does mean that you will burn fewer calories than if you exercise in the morning or afternoon.
When it is Time to Sleep...
At the end of the day, no matter when you exercise, it is important to make sure you get good, quality sleep on a comfortable mattress. Whether you are starting a new exercise routine, or you have been exercising for a while, your muscles will appreciate the comfort and recovery a memory foam mattress can provide. At BedInABox® we offer six different memory foam mattress models, each designed to meet different sleep needs, but all 100% made in America. We guarantee that we have the right mattress for everyone in our sleep community, including our fitness junkies!