Although the science of sleep is a muddy one, we're constantly learning more and more about what a good snooze means for our minds and bodies.
We're also having to unlearn a bunch of incorrect information we've been fed our entire lives relating to sleep. Like how exercising before bedtime isn't good for you. Thinking on this silly theory now, the idea makes no sense. Maybe whoever came up with this concept believed the adrenaline high and rise in body temperature would keep a person awake for hours, but in the past five or so years, research has proven that exercise – no matter when it is performed – is great for all people, especially those who suffer from sleep disorders, disturbed sleep and even insomnia.
Yeah, getting outside bright and early to advantage of the morning sun does help energize a person and start their day off right. But most of us lead rather busy lives, complete with kids, pets and full-time jobs. Waking up an hour or two earlier every day to work out doesn't exactly sound fun. (And it cuts into snooze time, something we all know is precious!)
Researchers say the type of exercise you do in the evening and at night shouldn't matter; what matters is that you have the time and motivation to go move your body. Whether it's running, swimming, weight training, muay thai, whatever – the point is to get out and do it.
It's important, though, to pay attention to your body and how it responds to exercise. If you're one of those people who could climb a mountain after a 5 mile run, maybe working out at night isn't the best idea for you. Perhaps if you're doing a more intense work out (say, a Crossfit WOD or an MMA session), you could do some yoga or take a cool down walk to relax your mind and body.
Below is a link to one of our favorite evening yoga routines from the awesome people at Do Yoga With Me. Try it out and see how you sleep!