Breaking a sweat before bedtime may actually help you sleep better
Posted on March 7, 2013 by Kenny Thapoung
Despite what you may have heard, going on a late-night jog won’t sabotage your shut-eye. People who exercise are between 56 percent to 67 percent more likely to say they typically get a good night’s sleep—regardless of what time a day they sweat it out, according to a new survey from the National Sleep Foundation. Just 39 percent of non-exercisers said the same.
Researchers polled 1,000 adults and asked them what their exercise routine was, as well as whether they typically experienced an uninterrupted night’s sleep. People were then divided into four exercise groups based on their responses: vigorous (running, cycling), moderate (yoga, weight lifting), light (walking), and non-exercisers. Although sleep lengths were similar across the board (about seven hours), 61 percent of the inactive exercisers said they rarely–if ever–slept well on work nights, and 24 percent of them said they had trouble falling asleep. Vigorous exercisers, on the other hand, were the least likely to report sleep issues. In fact, 72 percent reported never experiencing insomnia symptoms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s physical activity guidelines suggest getting 150 minutes of vigorous exercise each week for health benefits, including improved sleep. But there’s no need to stress over the exact length and frequency of your workout routine—just keep moving. “Any sort of exercise is beneficial for sleep quality,” says Matthew Buman, PhD, a professor of exercise and wellness at Arizona State University .
Based on the poll results, the National Sleep Foundation has amended its recommendations to encourage exercise regardless of time. Can’t squeeze in a workout? Read up on other ways to catch more Zs: