For athletes, performance may vary based on the time of day the exercise is performed. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center says that this is attributed mainly by the body’s circadian rhythms. The circadian rhythms are controlled by the hormones in the body and they dictate various behavioral and physical patterns in the body such as sleep, mood, body temperature, and metabolism.
For this reason, the performance and the best time to work out for each individual may differ with their circadian rhythms. If you are planning to work out in the evening, experts recommend that you eat throughout the day and avoid overeating afterwards. Having a meal after your body starts to release the hormone melatonin which takes place after sunset which can help to maintain glucose levels during the night. However, this release can interfere with your circadian rhythms.
Exercise and Sleep
Sleep is a top consideration when it comes to the question of is night exercise bad. While some believe that late workouts disrupt sleep, others believe that you will sleep more deeply after a good sweat. In a study done by Swiss researchers, it was found that people who had done vigorous exercise got more deep and restorative sleep. Regardless of the time of day, exercise is effective for increasing the depth and quality of sleep.
For exercise at night, you need to avoid sleeping immediately after your workout because your metabolism will be accelerated, and it will be difficult to find rest. After an intense workout, it is recommended that you take time to cool down in order to control your breathing, heart rate, and hormone levels. Stretching is also imperative as it helps to relax the muscles, enhance circulation, and prepare you for better sleep.
Hence, after your body has cooled down and stretched properly after a workout, you will not have trouble dozing off.
The Effectiveness of the Exercise
According to research, strength and muscle function are at peak during the evening. According to a famous kinesiologist researching at the Texas A&M University, too much cortisol in the body every morning can hinder muscle growth while high levels of testosterone at night can boost it. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center also says that workouts are likely to be more productive during the evening hours when the body temperatures are high.
During this time, heart rate and blood pressure are low, muscles are more flexible, exertion is low, and the reaction time is much quicker. A new study done by the England University of Birmingham has found that performance peaks after 11 hours of waking up for late risers. Therefore, you will work out harder and at a higher intensity in the evenings than any other time of the day. Therefore, you are more likely to see the results when you exercise in the evenings and at night.
In order to know the impact of different kinds of workouts on your performance and sleep pattern, it is wise to come up with an exercise, sleep, and food journal. This way, you can monitor your workout schedules and decide which one works best for you. For instance, if you have been getting adequate sleep after putting some work in the evening, then you can choose evening and night workouts.
Also, jot down the time you worked out and analyze how you wake up and what you’re feeling the next day. Additionally, note down your dietary habits before and after workouts and make a note of how you performed at the next workout. The idea is to try to find out what works best for your schedule without affecting your sleep. In addition, you will be able to change the type of exercise or time until you find one that produces the most effective results.
When it comes to choosing the best time to exercise, the key is finding what works best for your schedule and mindset. If the thought of waking up early to work out stresses you, then evening and night workouts might be ideal for you. Also, the key to better quality sleep is consistency. When you are consistent, you are more likely to see the results without affecting the quality of your sleep.