Do you hit the gym right before bedtime? If so, you may be doing more harm than good. Exercise can be beneficial for a healthy, restful night of sleep, but not if it’s done right before your head hits the pillow. Here’s why Orange County Mattress recommends avoiding exercise close to your bedtime routine.

Why you should not exercise before bed 

The Role of Temperature in Sleep Quality

One of the key elements to getting a good night’s rest is having a comfortable temperature in your bedroom. Your body naturally cools down as it prepares for sleep, and too much heat can interfere with this process. When you exercise, your body temperature rises. To prevent this from happening too close to bedtime, it’s best to avoid exercising at least two hours beforehand.


The Impact of Stress on Sleep Quality

Exercise can also be stressful on the body and mind. When we exercise, we release cortisol, a stress hormone that can keep us awake at night by causing anxiety or racing thoughts. This is particularly true if you’re doing intense workouts like HIIT or weight lifting close to bedtime.  While these are great exercises that can help you achieve your fitness goals faster, they should typically be avoided during evening hours because they can cause an overproduction of stress hormones that will make it difficult for you to switch off and fall asleep quickly. 


The Benefits of Morning Workouts

Instead of exercising late at night, try working out first thing in the morning! Not only will this give you energy throughout the day, but studies have shown that people who exercise in the morning tend to have better quality sleep than those who don’t—plus, it makes it easier for them to stick with their fitness goals long-term! Working out in the morning gives us an opportunity to get outside and get some fresh air which can help us feel energized and ready for our day ahead!


How Much Time Should You Leave Between Exercising and Sleeping?

Experts recommend leaving at least two hours between exercising and sleeping to give your body enough time to cool down after a workout and settle into a comfortable sleeping temperature. Additionally, if possible, try not to do any strenuous activity within 4 hours of bedtime to ensure optimal results from both activities without sacrificing either one due to fatigue or discomfort.


The Benefits of Exercise on Your Sleep Cycle

Exercising regularly has been shown to have several benefits on your sleep cycle. It increases your energy levels during the day, which makes it easier for you to fall asleep at night. Additionally, exercise helps reduce stress and anxiety levels, both of which can lead to difficulty sleeping. Finally, regular physical activity increases your body temperature during the day--when your body temperature drops later in the day, it signals that it's time for bed.


If You Must Exercise Before Bed, Here Are Some Tips for Better Sleep

Exercise before bed can make it tough to wind down and get the restful sleep your body needs. But don’t worry—there are still plenty of ways to enjoy your workouts while still getting a good night’s sleep. Here are some tips on how to do just that.


  • Cool Down After Your Workout: An effective way to help your body relax after a workout is by cooling down with some light stretching and deep breaths. This will help bring down your heart rate, which should help ease you into a more relaxed state of mind, allowing for better quality sleep later.


  • Invest in High Quality Mattresses and Bedding: The right mattress is essential for getting a good night’s rest, especially when combined with high-quality bedding like pillows, sheets, and comforters from Orange County Mattress in Orange County CA. When shopping for mattresses, make sure to choose one that provides ample support while also being comfortable enough for you to drift off quickly each night. The same goes for bedding; find materials that are soft and cozy but also breathable enough, so they won't trap heat or moisture against your skin as you sleep.


  • Take A Warm Shower Before Bedtime: A warm shower or bath not only helps physically cleanse away sweat and dirt from exercising but also helps psychologically relax the mind so it can prepare for restful sleep ahead of time. Be sure not to use too hot of water as this could cause dehydration and interfere with falling asleep quickly due to overstimulation of the senses.


  • Keep it Light: You should avoid intense workouts close to bedtime because they may raise your heart rate too much and make it difficult for you to fall asleep easily. Stick to light exercises such as stretching or yoga that will help relax your body and prepare it for sleep.


  • Make sure you're hydrated: It's always important that your body is properly hydrated during any type of physical activity, but especially during light exercises like stretching or yoga which require a lot of energy from your muscles. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout so that you stay hydrated.


  • Practice good sleep hygiene: Even if you're not planning on exercising right before bedtime, it's still a good idea to practice good sleep hygiene at night by avoiding caffeine late in the day, sticking with a consistent sleep schedule, and limiting blue light exposure from computer screens or phones to promote better restful sleep.


Find What Works Best for You

When it comes to getting quality restful sleep, everyone is different--what works for one person may not work for another! Experiment with different strategies and find what works best for you; whether that means adding blackout curtains to keep out unwanted light or investing in a new mattress specifically designed with comfort in mind. Here at Orange County Mattress, we carry mattresses from top brands like Sealy®, Serta®, Simmons® and more — so whatever type of mattress fits your lifestyle best, we have something perfect just for you!


Visit Orange County Mattress for More Sleeping-Better Tips!

Quality restful sleep should never be overlooked when striving towards optimal health--especially if you lead an active lifestyle! Remember that while physical activity plays an important role in keeping us healthy, there are other factors such as stress management and creating a comfortable environment that also contribute significantly to getting quality restful sleep every night. Visit Orange County Mattress today to find the perfect mattress suited just for you!


By OC Mattress Marketing


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