How exercise before bed affects sleep


We all know that regular exercising has a great impact on improving overall health and quality of life. But what about exercising before bedtime, you may ask? Indeed in the past times, experts did not recommend exercising before going to be

d, but today’s research reveals that moderate activity, at least one hour before bedtime doesn’t affect sleep. So, additional Better Weigh Medical text will deal with the topic of exercise-sleep relation and disclose how exactly a workout before bed affects sleep.

Ways exercise benefits a sleep

  1. Regular physical activity during any daytime and evening benefits people with chronicled sleep disorders and insomnia. Exercise reduces sleep latency (time required to fall asleep) and sleep fragmentation (awakening in the middle of the night) and increases sleep efficiency (time spent asleep while in bed). 
  1. Regular exercise lowers cortisol levels. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates the body`s response to stress. Elevated cortisol level is closely related to a sleep disorder. Exercising benefits in managing stress, therefore, promotes quality sleep.
  1. Consistent working out helps in the reduction of specific sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea (the respiratory condition that interrupts sleep). Another influence that exercise can have on sleep is lowering the side effects of sleep disorders such as low sleep efficiency and daytime drowsiness.
  1. Training before bed can notably expend alow-wave (deep) sleep, which is required for the muscles to recover and memory consolidation after a workout. 
  1. Some research has shown that exercising in the evening and even at the night, intensifies the production of melatonin by approximately 50%. Melatonin is a hormone that promotes sleep. This effect emerges when a body already produces peak levels of the mentioned hormone. Therefore, vigorous training and HIIT before bedtime may boost sleep pressure, also called sleep urgency, and helps one falls asleep faster.
  1. Besides the beneficial aspects of HIIT and vigorous workouts, there are some drawbacks important to consider. 

Exercising before sleep can impact your body`s internal clock, also known as circadian rhythm, and change its timing. Exercise timing is one of the zeitgebers factors (the German term which means “time givers”) that affects circadian rhythm. Those factors contribute to the circadian rhythm in promoting or disturbing the biological clock.  So, keep in mind zeitgebers’ quality of late-night working out before deciding whether it will be suitable for you.

While regular daytime exercise can improve sleep, health, and overall wellness, intensive and late-night exercise can delay your bedtime and should be considered to avoid its negative impact. 

The vigorous workout affects by provoking the secretion of stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Additionally, your heart rates, blood pressure, and metabolic rates are higher which results in an increase in core body temperature. In situations with raised body temperature and stress, it’s difficult to fall asleep due to the longer time that body needs to wind down and cool down. Besides the temperature, higher brain activity and stimulated nervous system provoked by exercise also contribute to sleep prevention.

Nonetheless, some research has shown that this doesn’t have to apply to everyone. It was noticed that exercising close to bedtime does not affect sleep for many people.

Even though we have mentioned that exercise increases the level of melatonin, some research stands on the contrary. Research in 1997 has shown that evening exercise delays the production of melatonin for up to 24 hours. This consequently drives to later bedtime the next day, which can potentially grow sleep debt. Sleep debt is a sleep quantity person lacks in the last 14 days considering sleep needs.

Other factors that combined with night exercising donates to sleep disturbance

Exercise before bed involves many features that can donate to disturbing sleep. One of those things is light exposure. Light inhibits the production of melatonin, sleep assist hormone. Getting too much light exposure during an evening workout prevents the brain from efficiently producing melatonin which results in hardening to fall asleep. 

Another thing that follows a late workout is a late-night meal. As the body needs food intake to restore and recover, you will probably reach for a meal after training. Food digestation can produce discomfort and can make it harder to fall asleep or even wake you up at night and shift circadian rhythm timing.


As it seems, for the most part, moderate intensity exercise in the evening not only doesn’t harm sleep nonetheless it helps faster falling asleep and prolongs the time in a deep sleep. However, HIIT training and vigorous exercise right before bed can deprive sleep quality and expends the time needed to fall asleep. Determining the timing and intensity of a workout routine determines the advantages or handicaps of exercising. Moreover, bare in mind that other factors contribute to sleep quality and other preferences besides exercise can disturb your sleep.

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