Should You Workout At Night?

Physical activity is crucial for a healthy body and mind. It’s been shown to boost mood, improve sleep, and increase overall satisfaction with life.

When it comes to exercise’s effect on sleep quality, some people believe that working out at night can negatively impact your sleep quality. They’ll claim that working out too close to bedtime will keep you up all night, restless, and unable to sleep.

 Evidence suggests the opposite – if the evening exercise is not too intense and is completed at least an hour before bedtime.

What Exercises Are Best For Working Out At Night?

Some exercises are better suited for working out at night than others.

If you are going to exercise later in the day, it’s probably better to stick to light to moderate-intensity activities, such as:

  • walking
  • stretching
  • yoga
  • dancing
  • leisurely swimming
  • leisurely biking
  • moderate weightlifting

The more intense the workout, the more time you’ll need to allow your body to calm down before bedtime. Higher-intensity exercises include:

  • running
  • swimming laps
  • fast or uphill cycling
  • jumping rope
  • heavy weightlifting
  • high-intensity interval training

While these exercises can be very beneficial for your sleep quality and overall health, it’s better to do them earlier in the day to not interfere with your sleep schedule.

How Much Exercise Is Recommended For Improving Sleep?

Improving your sleep health takes more than just a single bout of exercise every now and then. A consistent routine is key.

The CDC, the American Heart Association, and many other health organizations recommend at least 150 minutes of heart-pumping physical activity every week.

For most people, it is helpful to structure that time as 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, with a rest day every 3 or 4 days.

If you can’t fit in a full 30 minutes at once, break it up into two or three 10-minute sessions throughout the day. Or maybe you prefer longer workouts every other day.

Find a routine that works for you and stick to it.

If you have trouble sleeping at night, change your exercise routine. Try working out at a different time of day or doing a different type of exercise. Maybe you are doing too much too close to bedtime, or you are not doing enough to tire yourself out.

Some people like to exercise in the morning to kick start their day, while others find that working out at night helps them relax and prepares them for a good night’s sleep.

The best time to work out is when you will actually do it.