Does Working Out Make It Harder To Sleep? These 5 Workouts Won't Make You Toss & Turn All Night
I literally always hit up the gym late at night. I love how empty it is, I hate waking up early to sweat it out, and for real, it just works out perfectly with my busy schedule. On nights when I can't seem to fall asleep, though, I've always low-key wondered whether working out makes it harder to sleep — not that I'm going to change my evening exercise routine either way, but a girl's got to know, you know?
TBH though, people who tell me I shouldn't be working out before bed remind me of those people who tell me I'm putting too much parmesan cheese on my pasta. Literally nobody needs that kind of negativity in their life — nobody.
Plus, there's plenty of research out there to back you up on your late-night exercise routine, so seriously, go forth and make those evening #gains.
But to make sure you're not screwing yourself over, there are definitely a few precautions you should take to avoid tossing and turning all throughout the night. For instance, going way too hard during your workout and not being able to wind down might inadvertently raise your body temperature too much, when it's actually supposed to be on the cooler side for an ideally restful sleep.
Overall, as long as you make sure not to overdo the intensity of your sweat sesh, you should be in the clear. Here are five evening workouts that won't leave you feeling restless when it comes to go to sleep.
1. Some Basic Body-Weight Exercises
Sudden, rapid movements, like the ones involved in intense HIIT circuits, are most likely a no-go right before it's time to crawl into bed.
Unless you have a couple of hours to cool down, you're going to want to opt for lighter body-weight exercises that aren't explosive AF. Try doing a few wall-sits, lunges, planks, and tricep dips for a low-impact challenge before bed. Your body will feel strong and sculpted as hell, but your brain won't get completely wired and amped up by the time you actually need to wind down.
2. A Soothing Stretching Sequence
Stretching and foam-rolling are great ways to relieve tension before bed and work your muscles in a soothing way.
For example, massaging your calves with a foam roller is an excellent way to get a deep stretch while simultaneously sculpting your core — a total win-win.
And if you're looking for a full-body stress-reliever, try this pilates-infused flexibility sequence. Your brain and your body will thank you, and you'll be enjoying those sweet, sweet dreams before you know it.
3. A Super Chill Yoga Flow
Yoga is said to be a natural sleep remedy, as it soothes the mind and releases tension, all while strengthening and lengthening your entire body.
So the next time someone tells you that you shouldn't be sweating it out before going to sleep, tell them that rolling out your yoga mat is actually therapeutic AF, and also, they should mind their own business.
Pro tip: Legs-up-the-wall pose is bae when it comes to bedtime yoga, so definitely make sure to include that bad boy somewhere in your flow.
4. A Quick Core Circuit
Most workout moves that target your abs are pretty low-impact, while still providing your body with a decent challenge.
Try exercises like crunches, leg lifts, bicycles, and even plank variations when it comes to that p.m. workout grind. These movements will open up your hips while keeping your core engaged the whole time. Remember to maintain rhythmic breathing through it all so you can enjoy a nice, blissful slumber after you finish your workout.
5. A Short, Relaxing Walk
While running and other forms of intense, aerobic exercise are best saved for daytime workouts, walking is actually encouraged to help beat insomnia.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, moderate walking can help you fall asleep more quickly, and it can even help you stay asleep longer throughout the night.
If you're not actually at the gym for your evening workout, and you don't have a treadmill anywhere at home, go outside for a brisk stroll.
Before you know it, you'll be ready to pass the f*ck out.