Exercising Before Sleep – Does It Promote Your Sleep?

Exercise makes some positive connections with your health. It releases happiness hormones so that you feel better and the cardiovascular system is strengthened. This should actually make it easier to fall asleep.

But from your own experience you will notice that falling asleep is not so easy after an intensive training session. You lie awake in bed for a while and just can’t calm down.

Is it a good idea to exercise before bed or should you avoid it? Find out how exercise affects your sleep in the evening.

study at the ETH Zurich examined whether it is beneficial to do sports before going to sleep . She also dealt with this question and wanted to find out how sport affects sleep behavior.

To this end, 23 studies were examined and conclusions were drawn from them. The bottom line is that exercising before sleep does not negatively affect it. No adverse effects were seen in the four hours before bedtime.

It is also said that exercise has little effect on sleep . There are no negative effects, but hardly any positive ones either. Accordingly, the sporting activity is largely ineffective in terms of sleep.

So it seems like exercising before sleep hardly affects the rest of the night. Nevertheless, you should adapt the training in the evening to your sleeping behavior.


However, a positive effect of sport was observed after evaluating the studies. Because exercise seems to influence deep sleep.

During the night, the body and mind go through different phases of sleep . These range from a light sleep to a deep sleep.

Deep sleep plays a major role in regeneration. There the processes are running at full speed and the mind processes the experiences of the day. Deep sleep is therefore one of the most important phases of sleep.

If sport was done in the evening, the proportion of deep sleep at night increased . If this was usually 19.9% ​​at night, the proportion rose to a value of 21%. Thus the deep sleep phase was extended and a higher regeneration achieved.

However, it must be mentioned here that the increase in deep sleep could also be due to the higher stress. Through exercise , the body simply needs a more intensive recovery , so that the next morning there is no more rested feeling.

Scientifically, it can hardly be said to what extent exercise has a positive effect on sleep. Therefore, you have to make the experience yourself and do sports in the evening.


Sport means exertion for the body. If this is too high, it goes into an alarm state. In order to achieve a higher level of performance, the body is pushed to its limits. In this area, stress hormones are released , which induce a higher state of wakefulness. This is an excellent mechanism for getting your best performance in a sporting competition, for example. However, stress proves to be an obstacle to sleep .

The stress puts you in a higher state of wakefulness and falling asleep is associated with obstacles. If you do the intense exercise right before bed , the stress will cause you to lie awake in bed for some time. You fail to find sleep, so exercise is a hindrance. You sleep shorter and the next morning the burden is even more in your bones.

Therefore, the recommendation applies that you should only do moderate exercise before going to bed . Do not go to your performance limits, rather move in the comfort zone. An intensive training puts you in an alarm state and does not offer the necessary relaxation that is a prerequisite for a high quality of sleep.


If you are more committed on the road, it is advisable to orient the training to your individual high phases. Everyone has a different daily rhythm and thus the energy level also differs.

Most people have a high point in the morning. Around the time between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., you will find yourself in a high performance. If you do your training there, you will naturally notice an increase. You put in a faster time and you better take the burden away.

At lunchtime you are likely to have a low . You are eating a heavy meal and are hardly able to do any training anyway. After eating, digestion needs a significant part of your energy, so you should rather rest here.

A second high does not occur until the afternoon, between 2 and 4 p.m. This time window is also suitable for carrying out the training. You can easily increase the intensity here, as it is still a long way from going to bed.


Whether exercise has a positive effect on your sleep depends on the timing and intensity. In the evening, the recommendation is therefore to stay in a calm pulse range and keep the intensity moderate. If you do the moderate training , your sleep will benefit from it.


Running an easy lap in the evening is an ideal way to relieve stress. Was your day characterized by challenges and did the work prove to be a burden?

Then the stress hormones are broken down during light exercise. You will get a clear head and can better switch off to shake off the negative thoughts.


Regular exercise strengthens your cardiovascular system. This means that the body and mind are better supplied with oxygen during sleep. Your resting heart rate drops and regeneration is more efficient. You may need less sleep and still feel more rested. A healthy lifestyle contributes to a high quality of sleep and you will feel better.


If you are slightly overweight , you can do sport in the evening. The excess energy is burned there instead of being stored in the form of fat pads at night. After exercising, eat a light meal before bed and get enough healthy fats and proteins. Then your body is supplied with high-quality nutrients, so that the quality of sleep increases.


Exercise has some positive effects on your mind and body. These effects do not stop at sleep either.

Keep a moderate exercise in order to reduce stress and feel yourself sufficiently tired in the evening. You can complete the easy training session around two hours before going to bed.

However, postpone intensive training to the morning hours or early afternoon. This type of exercise is stressful and could have a negative impact on your sleep. Therefore, it is better to keep a longer distance to bedtime.

If you follow these principles, exercise is highly recommended for a healthy sleep. Take care of your body and lead a healthy lifestyle to avoid insomnia and to feel more awake.

Jamie Clark

Hello, I’m Jamie Clark, 32 years old, and I have been living in the USA for a few years.
Since I was a child, I have suffered from a house dust allergy, severely affecting me. I felt the effects both while exercising and while sleeping. Constant sneezing after getting up and difficult breathing were the consequences. The allergy has also developed into asthma, which is still a sporting restriction today.

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