After a hard day’s work, nothing beats falling into bed and heading straight to Dreamland. But if that moment feels like a distant memory, you’re not alone: More guys than ever are having trouble falling and staying asleep.
What’s up with that? If you’re not getting any exercise – or you’re exercising at the wrong time of day – then finding a remedy for your poor sleeping habits may be easier than you think.
Here are 3 simple tips to find the best time to exercise for a better night’s sleep:
If it feels right, keep doing it.
Our bodies are regulated by a 24-hour internal clock. For some guys, getting up early for a jog makes them feel like kings of the world. For others, working out after dinner delivers the goods. The general rule: You do you! The most important thing is to make exercise a habit. Studies show that it can take a few weeks to form new habits, so stick with it!
If you want to take a crack at morning exercise, don’t sacrifice sleep to do it. Make sure you go to bed earlier to accommodate the wake-up call. This could take some getting used to, but head for bed at least 7-9 hours before you plan to wake up.
The law of evening sweat sessions.
On one hand, research suggests that exercise at any time of day can help your body clock regulate sleeping and waking patterns. On the other, because working out raises your heart rate and body temperature, experts agree it’s best to avoid intense exercise less than three hours before bed. That said, if evenings are the most convenient time of day for you to exercise and it doesn’t mess with your sleep, then rock on!
The main takeaway from all of this: exercise at the same time every day to make it a habit. Try one of our awesome workout routines at home, or take a 20-minute walk during the day, and there’s a good chance you’ll end up in Dreamland ASAP.
What’s your optimal time of day for exercise before you go to sleep? Share your comments below.
Daniel Palmer is a communications professional and former journalist. Born in Newfoundland and raised in British Columbia, Daniel considers himself an elastic Canadian with a West Coast bias. Nature is usually the cure for what ails him. Daniel is based in Ottawa with his wife and daughter.