Is It Okay To Exercise Late At Night?
Some of us have the habit of sweating it out before hitting the sack.
Do you fancy a game of badminton at 10pm? How about jogging under the moonlight? Due to busy and demanding schedules, it's no surprise that many of us only have the luxury of exercising before bedtime.
Morning workouts are a no-no during the weekends because that's the only time you get to sleep in.
But working out at night has often been advised against, as many misconceptions surround the practice. Does it disrupt our sleep? Does it render our exercise less effective?
According to a leading sleep group in the US, most people can sleep just fine after a workout. The group found people who exercise in the last four hours before bedtime report sleeping just as well as those exercising earlier in the day.
They also found out that people who exercise at any time of day report sleeping better and feeling more rested than those who don't exercise.
"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, as quoted by USA Today.
Granted, some people do have trouble falling asleep after exercise because of the adrenaline rush
"Their adrenaline is high, their brain is active, and it's difficult to wind down," Dr. Stuart Quan, the Gerald E. McGinnis professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School, told CNN.
If you're one of those people, try working out three to six hours before your bedtime.
This strategy will allow your body temperature to return to its usual temperature, your heartbeat to return to its resting rate, and your adrenaline levels to stabilise so you can get your Z's.
Another sleep expert, Sammy Margo, said light exercises like yoga are also recommended.
But for some, working out before bed might not affect their sleep at all, or it might actually help them sleep. It’s impossible to know which category you fall into until you try it.
Jessica Matthews, a spokesperson and fitness trainer suggests people who want to try late-day exercise to give it a go - play around with the timing, intensity, and type of workout to see what feels right.
"Any time you work out is the best time. It is important to find a routine that works best for you and that you can perform consistently,” said Dr. Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer of the American Council of Exercise, as quoted by the Huffington Post.
So, if you're only able to squeeze in a futsal game after work, do it! Remember that any exercise - no matter the time - is better than none. :)