Work Life Balance: How Does Exercise Affect Your Sleep?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, September 9th, 2014

Researchers found that people who exercise in the evening sleep as well as those who aren’t active in the hours before bed. People who work out in the morning report getting the best sleep, on average, which is something to consider when finding your work life balance.

Some sleep recommendations suggest avoiding exercise prior to bed, but evidence to the contrary suggests that individuals need not avoid exercise at night.

work life balance - night exerciseResearchers analyzed responses collected from 1,000 adults participating in the 2013 National Sleep Foundation Sleep in America Poll. The telephone- and web-based questionnaire asked participants how well they felt they slept, how long they slept each night, how much time it took them to fall asleep, and whether they felt refreshed waking in the morning.

The poll also asked participants about their exercise habits and whether they worked out regularly. If so, were they active in the morning, afternoon or evening? (within four hours of going to sleep).

People who exercised vigorously in the morning were 88% more likely to report good sleep than non-exercisers and 44% less likely to say they woke up feeling unrefreshed.

Moderate-intensity morning exercisers were 53% more likely to say they slept well overall, compared to people who didn’t exercise.

Although the National Sleep Foundation’s sleep hygiene recommendations don’t preclude pre-bedtime workouts, they do advise sticking to relaxing exercises, such as yoga, in the evening hours. Some doctors advise against evening workouts.

But this research gives us fewer excuses to avoid exercise and more reasons to increase work life balance with exercise! To learn how to care for your body, mind and spirit visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Let’s talk today about how to customize this program for your staff. Contact me today!

One response to “Work Life Balance: How Does Exercise Affect Your Sleep?”

  1. I work a rotating schedule which is horrible for sleep regularity. (two swings, three day shifts, each day with different starting times, but weekly the schedule is the basically the same.) I find morning workouts the most beneficial, enjoyable and easiest to complete.

    Soft yoga or Tai Chi’ in the evening, even right before bed usually helps me wind down and sleep better. Too much brain activity does the opposite.

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