Work Out in the Morning, Knock Out at Night

Sleep better when working out in the morning

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) The post-work crowd at the gym can be an endurance test on its own. Going to the gym first thing in the morning may reduce that stress, as well as provide another benefit: New research says it gives you a better night’s rest.

Researchers from the American College of Sports Medicine and the Appalachian State University have found that study participants were able to sleep better when they worked out in the morning as compared with participants who worked out during the day and at night.

"Work out in the morning to improve sleeping."

There were six male and three female participants who were asked to exercise on a treadmill for 30 minutes at either 7 AM, 1 PM or 7 PM. The researchers used a sleep-monitoring headband to measure the quality of sleep in each participant.

The researchers found that participants who exercised on the treadmill at 7 AM spent 85 percent more time in light sleep and 75 percent more time in deep sleep than the other two groups. They also found the early work out caused a 20 percent increase in rapid eye movement (REM), dream sleep frequency.

Scott Collier, Ph.D. one of the lead authors, says that this study shows well-timed exercise can cause better sleep quality for the general population and increase the benefits of physical activity.

Fitness expert Jim Crowell agrees. "I am a huge believer that exercise leads to better sleep," he said. " I see many clients who begin our program in a sleep deprived state, but as they add exercise. they find that they sleep more regularly and more deeply."

Based on results he has seen in his clientele, Crowell adds, "It is important for people to workout at different times of the day from time to time so that they do not plateau by getting used to the same routine, but they must also understand when they can workout the most effectively to get the overall best training effects."

So start waking up earlier and getting a good work out in. Even if you only have time for a 30 minute jog, it will help you throughout the day and help you sleep better at night.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 7, 2011
Last Updated:
June 8, 2011