SLEEP EXPERTS ADVISE THIS BUT…
In 2010 a study found only 5 minutes of walking prior to sleep could affect sleep onset. The study by (Bonnie and Arandt, 2000) measured two groups of diagnosed with insomnia participants that did two different things, and then attempted sleep. Group one were sedentary, watching 15 minutes of TV and group two walked on a treadmill for 5 minutes. The results found physiological arousal (ie the treadmill walkers) took longer to fall asleep, concluding that exercise caused delayed sleep onset.
The reason that this happened was the effect of increased heart rate causing more alertness. We also know body heat affects sleep and active muscles are heat-producing. So the conclusion to this study was NOT/AVOID exercise in the 3 hours prior to bedtime.
This was the advice of sleep experts with clients suffering insomnia and if you were NOT a morning person it meant your window of exercise opportunity was severely hampered.
The best info comes from big studies
Almost everyday a new study is highlighted in the media but what you should know is that the most accurate research comes when a lot of studies are combined to give stronger evidence based outcomes.
Technology in the form of wearables that measure physiology like your heart rate and breathing has enabled collection of mass data which helps sleep scientists to validate research on a huge scale hence giving the general population really helpful sleep advice.
Along with this type of data, a meta data analysis which combines similar studies on a large scale and compares the results ensures the evidence is strong…and the evidence say…DRUMROLL…
YOU CAN EXERCISE AND SLEEP
In 2015 a meta analysis study by Kredlow and Colleagues in 2015 found that you can exercise and sleep within 3 hours of bedtime and NOT have your sleep affected in any big way. ie sleep onset was minimally delayed by only minutes and exercise had a positive impact on sleep in general.
This is great news for those wanting better sleep. So up your exercise, eat well and sleep well!