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Change Your Workout Time, Sleep Better Tonight

June 16, 2015 2 min read

We all know that sleep is as important as what we eat and how we move our bodies. We also know that it gets the short end of the sheet more times that it should, for a variety of reasons. Stress at work, a too heavy, too late meal, a racing mind from too much screen time -- any of these could compromise those precious hours when our bodies put the day to good use and take out the metabolic trash. But what if our workouts are impeding our rest? And what if we could flip that and make them work for us instead? To figure out what time of day working out will benefit you most, think about where your sleep deficits usually arise. You have trouble falling asleep. If this is your problem, hit the gym early. In a study at Appalachian State University, those who lifted weights at 7 a.m. fell asleep faster than both groups of late exercisers and those who skipped their workouts. Lead author of the study, Scott R. Collier, Ph.D., F.A.C.S.M., says early risers adjust their sleep patterns to accommodate workouts and then burn more calories earlier in the day. This accounts for the added ease with which they fall asleep. You have trouble staying asleep. If you have no trouble dropping off to sleep but find yourself staring at the ceiling at 3 a.m., then try a later workout. The same ASU study found that those who work out at 7 p.m. sleep more deeply through the night than morning exercisers. Collier says the effect of heating up the muscles closer to bedtime acts like a bath and readies the body for sleep. The fatigue of a late workout also helps keep you asleep once you're there. What is your favourite time of day to hit the gym? Do you notice changes to sleep when you switch it up? Source: Men's Health

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