Exercise Affects Your Sleep in a Pretty Surprising Way

Woman runningHealth research makes my brain go bonkers. One second those fancy schmancy science types are telling us that exercising before bed is bad. Now, they're telling us that it doesn't matter one bit. A new study says that it doesn't matter what time you work out, just that you do. According the National Sleep Foundation's 2013 Sleep in America poll, people that work out get a better night's sleep than people who don't, even if they got the same amount of sleep. Hmmm, interesting.

It makes sense, doesn't it? Exercising is good for you. Sleep is good for you. Getting enough of both, well, that's important. Regardless, I'm done listening to these studies about WHEN is the best time to exercise because all they do is contradict one another. As someone who does it roughly 4 to 5 times per week, I'm gonna tell you that just getting out there and doing it is all that matters.

Life is always going to be busy. You're not always going to be able to predict when you'll have to go into the office early or pick up your daughter late from soccer practice. Because of that, you can't always plan your workouts. For me, that's been very interesting, especially in New York City. If I find I have to stay late at the office, then the best thing I can do is make a conscious effort to wake up early the next day to give myself time to get out and run a bit before getting ready to go back to work. By now, it's just become habit.

In my mind, squeezing in physical activity needs to be as much of a priority for us all as, say, eating. We need to keep our bodies in good condition. I'm not saying you need to be a body builder or a model. What I am saying, though, is you deserve to feel good about yourself both inside and out. When it comes down to it: your body is what keeps you going in the first place!

So who cares when the "best" time of day to work out is, anyway? Personally, I hate getting all sweaty and gross before bed, having to shower, and hitting the sheets with wet hair. Hey, that's just me. What matters is that you get out there and do it. In the long run, that's the most important part.

Do you have a usual time of day when you work out? What do you like to do?


Image via lululemon athletica/Flickr

sleep, exercise


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linzemae linzemae

I have to work out at night. If I do it in the morning I would fall back asleep. I definitely think I sleep better when I work out!

GlowW... GlowWorm889

I actually started exercising before bed to cure my insomnia. It worked! I always gave myself at least an hour to calm down from the adrenaline high, but after that it alway leaves me feeling nice and sleepy.

slw123 slw123

I teach group fitness classes, so I work out all times of the day.  I honestly sleep better on the nights when I teach/exercise at night.

dusky... dusky_rose

Interesting! I always thought that exercising right before bedtime got your blood pumping and was a bad idea if you wanted to sleep right away.

MamaB... MamaBear2cubs

I usually do it after the kids go to sleep.

Miche... MichelleK41

I get my work out in during the day and typically wind down about 9 or 10pm from it.

mrswi... mrswillie

I workout in the morning

nates... natesmom1228

I love working out right after work.

sukainah sukainah

I always thought it would wake you up exercising before bed.  I need to workout, that's my problem.

Three... Threes.Company

I'm training for an Olympic-distance triathlon. I run, bike and swim... In the morning.

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