Running Before Bed – Is It Bad To Workout Before Sleeping?
Should you do your running before bed? This is a commonly asked question amongst athletes. Running at the end of the day is a great way for athletes with a busy lifestyle to keep up their training. However, is it bad to work out before bed?
Physical exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. So, finding the time to workout can often prove challenging. For many people, running before bedtime is the only way they can get their training in. But is it good for you?
Contrary to older cautions, there are actually many benefits to running before sleeptime. In this article we will look at the benefits and effects of running before bed time, and why you might want to consider working out before sleeping.
Working Out Before Bed Benefits – What are They?
Getting out running before bed can do many things for you. It helps to reduce stress and anxiety, promotes muscle relaxation, and helps you to have a more relaxed, deeper sleep. A study done at the University of South Carolina (looking into working out before bed benefits) showed that 97 percent of people who did high-intensity workouts before bed reported equal or better sleep at night. The main reason for this is that exercise raises your core temperature, and when it begins to drop you start to feel sleepy. So, in general working out before bed benefits not only the runner, but other endurance athletes.
Another benefit is consistency: if your not a morning person, running before bed is the easiest way to maintain consistency. When you find waking up for morning runs more of a dream than a reality, planning a workout for the evening is a no-brainer. It will allow you to keep your workout time the same and will eliminate the guilt of missing training when you sleep in. Generally, this will lead to great continuity and help you to achieve your goals by staying on track.
Running At Night Vs Morning – How does it affect you?
There are many reasons to run in the morning, and just as many reasons why you shouldn’t. So which is the best? And what differs between running at night vs morning. How can it affect you?
Let’s start with morning runs. Besides the beautiful views and the early morning sunrise, there are a few actual benefits to morning running. Exercise is a great way to boost your mood and set you up for the day ahead. This is because a chemical called cortisol (the stress hormone) is at its peak first thing in the morning. That is why people who struggle with depression and anxiety often find morning the hardest part of the day. Knowing this, a run is one of the best ways to counteract this hormone and override it with a big release of endorphins. Making you feel much better about the day ahead.
However, there are reasons to avoid morning runs too. If you’re looking to perform a high-intensity workout first thing in the morning, it might not be the best idea. Firstly your muscles will be stiffer, and often not warmed up properly because of the lack of movement during the night. This can often put you at a greater risk of injury.
It is also likely that you will not have sufficient nutrition in your body to get the most gains out of your workout after fasting for the last 8-10 hours of sleep.
If you are looking to perform high-intensity workouts first thing in the morning, you might want to wait until the evening. Alternatively if you struggle to wake up first thing in the morning and consistently hit the snooze button, consider trying to alternate between morning and evening runs.
So knowing all of this, what are the benefits of running before bed?
First, you are more likely to be able to run longer, and faster in the evening. Why? Because your glycogen levels have been topped up by breakfast and lunchtime meals. Which in turn, gives you more energy to fuel your run. Evening is also the time of day where your body temperature is at its prime, and your muscles will be warmer and have more elasticity in them.
Because of this, running will feel easier and strides will feel more natural. It will also help you feel more relaxed during your landing and take off phases of your stride, lowering your risk of injury.
Running in the evening is a great way to blow off some steam from the day gone by and to prepare yourself for a good sleep.
The downside to working out at night comes back to the same as the morning – motivation. But in a different way. Most people are at their peak, mentally, in the morning. As the day goes by we lose our edge and start to feel sluggish and exhausted. If you can overcome this you will feel refreshed, but finding the motivation can be hard for some.
Running Before Bed & Weight Loss – Can It Help?
Running before bed can certainly help aid people in the pursuit of weight loss, especially in the long term. Working out before bed benefits weight loss by increasing your metabolism. The increase benefits weight loss as your metabolism is responsible for burning the fatty acids and processing food in your body. The longer and harder your metabolism is working in your body – the more calories you are going to burn while your sleepping.
Running before bed has also proven to lower the levels of ghrelin in your body. Ghrelin is the hunger-stimulating hormone which is known to help lower the levels of this hormone in your system. By doing so, it running before sleep time can help prevent you from feeling hungry during the night. This often helps people to restrict their calorie output during the evening wen most people are more likely to snack.