Doing sports is a great thing. Unfortunately, the job, the family, everyday errands and appointments often take up quite a bit of time. That leaves only the evening for your own fitness programme. Sport and going to bed don’t usually mix very well, do they? Yes, they do, according to a study from Canada.
Research on the subject of sleep is being carried out all over the world. That’s why a team from Concordia University took 15 experimental studies as examples and compared them with each other. The question was: Can exercise before bed improve sleep? The researchers’ meta-study included a total of 194 participants. All of them were considered good sleepers and were between 18 and 50 years old. However, their lifestyles differed. Some were very leisurely and exercised less than average. The others, on the other hand, were considered physically fit. Two ideally suited control groups.
Exercise first, then go to sleep
What happens if both groups exercise before sleeping? And by exercise, in this case, we meant really sweaty exercises, so-called High-Intensity-Exercise (HIE). If you only do this kind of exercise once in a while for up to an hour and then want to go to bed half an hour later, you are not doing yourself any good. It can be harder than usual to fall asleep and you may not get as much deep sleep.
The situation is different if you provide a larger time buffer between the end of your programme and the jump into bed. According to the study, two to four hours is an optimal period. And those who really enjoy this kind of routine also have a good hand as well. If you make such intense exercise on a regular basis, it will not disturb your sleep in any way. Finish your workout almost exactly two hours before bedtime and later glide into the realm of dreams, at least according to science.
Better cycling than counting sheep
What still remains to be decided is what the training should look like? Melodee Mograss, co-author of the study and research associate at the Perform Sleep Lab of Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, has good news. Cycling turns out to be particularly recommendable. Aerobic endurance sports generally have good effects. She told the US magazine “Bicycling” that this is especially true for cycling.
During a correspondingly intense workout, the cyclists’ core body temperature rises. In order to reduce the heating, the body cools down in return. Something similar happens, for example, when bathing in warm water. Core temperature rises, cooling to say sweating starts. This process is considered beneficial for falling asleep.
Watch the shutdown
However, it takes time. If too little time is left for the reaction to the physical stress and the associated internal heat wave, recovery is not complete and the body is insufficiently attuned to the upcoming sleep. As a result, some of us can feel quite tired the next day.
In principle, according to Mograss, it is advisable to follow a sleep schedule in addition to a training schedule. Those who do this with the necessary consistency are practising good “sleep hygiene”. Well then, have a hygienic night.
LEAVE US A MESSAGE