Exercising Before Bedtime Is OK, Sleep Experts Say…

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If working out at night works for you, then keep doing it. Their is new advice from a leading sleep group and other experts in sleep and exercise field reporting that working out at night isn’t bad for your sleep. This report puts to rest those who say working out before bed is bad for you.

Most people can sleep just fine after a workout, say experts from the National Sleep Foundation, relying on evidence from a growing body of research and a new poll. The 2013 Sleep in America Poll, out today, finds people who exercise at any time of day report sleeping better and feeling more rested than those who don’t exercise. It also finds people who exercise in the last four hours before bedtime report sleeping just as well as those exercising earlier in the day.

“The timing of exercise ought to be driven by when the pool’s lap lane is open or when your tennis partner is available or when you have time to get away from work, not by some statement that has never been validated,” says Barbara Phillips, a University of Kentucky sleep medicine specialist who worked on the poll.

More than half of vigorous and moderate exercisers reported sleeping better on days they exercised — even if it was close to bedtime. In the poll of 1,000 people, just 3% of late-day exercisers said they slept worse. Margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The idea that exercise late in the day is bad for sleep was always based on conjecture and anecdote, Phillips and others say. The theory was that the stimulation of exercise, combined with rises in body temperature, would keep people awake.

For some, that may be true, but studies now suggest it’s not the norm, says Shawn Youngstedt, a researcher at the University of South Carolina. He also worked on the poll.

Youngstedt conducted one study in which fit young males with no sleep problems rode exercise bikes for 3 hours and went to bed just 30 minutes later. They all slept soundly asleep. In another study, good sleepers have shown similar results, he says. He is now starting a study of evening exercise in otherwise inactive people who do have sleep problems.

 

Sleep Exercise Study

 

The foundation poll found:

• 83% of vigorous exercisers reported very or fairly good sleep quality, vs. 56% of non-exercisers.

• 67% of vigorous exercisers reported a good night’s sleep on all or most work nights, vs. 39% of non-exercisers.

• Exercisers and non-exercisers reported about the same amount of sleep, just under seven hours a night.

 

 

via USA Today

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