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Working out before bed: woman working out in a bedroom.

In the modern world where jobs require a lot less strength and mobility, regular exercising has become less relevant. Reason for that is - most work routines require sitting in place for a while, or using machinery to do the heavy lifting. So, if you want to be fit, you have to exercise on your own time - and working out before bed seems like a great solution! 

Some might agree that going to the gym straight from work is fine, but what if you're on a busy schedule? Others think that morning workouts could be the way to go, but getting up an hour or two earlier... Let's say it is quite a challenge for most people to change their sleep schedule.

Therefore, working out before bed could become a regular part of your daily routine. In this guide, we will look through everything you need to know about exercising before bed.

Working Out Before Bed: Should You Do It?

So, you're wondering if you should start exercising before bed. But does working out before bed affect sleep? For years people have said that working out late at night might negatively impact your quality of sleep.

However, recent studies suggest that working out at night does not directly impact sleep - as long as you do it at least an hour before going to bed. In 2019, the European Sleep Research Society conducted a 3-day experiment with 12 men that involved different or no exercises each day. Their sleep inertia was unaffected by exercises that were done 90 minutes before bed.[1]

Working out before bed: Cycling at night.

Likewise, sleep is linked to larger muscle gains. In 2015, a study by the American Society for Nutrition, involving 44 young men showed that protein was ingested way better when it was consumed before bed after working out[2]

“Okay, but is there anything I should know before I start doing exercises before bed?”

Indeed. There are multiple factors that may impact your quality of sleep when you exercise before bed. Let’s look at what you should know before you start working out late at night!

What to Consider Before Doing Late-Night Exercises?

Let’s say you’ve decided to start doing some exercises before bed. However, there are some things that you need to keep in mind before you start your workout tonight.

There are plenty of exercises that you can choose from, but it really depends on what you are trying to achieve.

Working Out Before Bed: person on a exercise bicycle.

If you want to relax or fall asleep faster - then simple aerobics or stretches is probably the best option for a simple workout. Here's what you get from stretching exercises before bed:

  • Increased muscle relaxation
  • Improved blood circulation through your body
  • Reduced stress
  • Pain-relief from previous exercises

Likewise, if you are looking to lose weight  - then you could probably do some more active exercises like running or mild weightlifting before sleep. But how does this help you achieve weight loss?

Well, gyms are way less crowded later in the day so you will feel much more comfortable. On top of that, more sleep will lower the activity of hormones that induce hunger so you won't over-eat.

In fact, after working out before bed - sleep will be all you can think of. And most importantly - muscle growth requires a good night's rest so your body can refuel for tomorrow.

Therefore, having a full workout before bed could benefit your muscle gains even further, assuming that you use supplements or eat food that is high in protein. Why?

Studies show that protein enters your body faster when you are asleep.[3] Therefore, sleeping not only helps you recover, but also builds muscle mass. Likewise, you will be less likely to overeat because sleep lowers hunger-inducing hormones.

Finally - consider your diet before and after your workout. In order to get the most out of your exercise - make sure that you balance out your food intake before going to bed. In fact, there are some things that you should avoid:

  • Coffee (it might restrain you from having a good sleep)
  • Large meals, alcohol (because of high-calorie content)
  • Sweets (because of high sugar content and calories)

More than that, you have to be aware of your sleeping position. The way that you lay on your bed may impact the quality of your sleep.

So, if you are looking to find out which sleeping position is best for you - check out our article on the best sleeping position for your health

Working out before bed: man sleeping on a pillow.

Keep in mind that some of these features can vary from person to person because we are all built differently. So don’t be afraid to experiment with the times and ways of your workout routine.

If you don’t like to exercise before bed - maybe try doing it an hour earlier. It’s simple, you just need to find a way to enjoy it!

Is Working Out Before Bed Good for You?

Seeing as there are plenty of health benefits when working out before bed, you might wonder - how will it affect your daily life? I’m sure losing weight and getting more sleep aren’t the only benefits you are interested in. 

Looks

By doing exercises before bed, you will see many differences in your appearance. These changes won’t come overnight so don’t expect to look like the Incredible Hulk or cut your weight in half. Be patient.

Working Out Before Bed: man lifting barbell. 

Likewise, differences might not be the same for everyone, so don’t worry if you haven’t noticed any in some parts of your body. They will eventually become visible if you keep up with your exercises before bed.

If you've just started losing weight by working out late at night, here are some things that you may might notice:

  • Decrease in visceral fat (the fat that builds up around your internal organs). There won’t be a way to see it, but you will certainly feel much better and lighter. For some, visceral fat tends not to disappear even after losing weight so it is not a crucial indicator for your weight loss.
  • Changes in the abdominal area, usually around the waist. This part will start to appear much slimmer.
  • Decrease in submental fat (the area beneath your chin). 
  • Facial structure changes. Your face won’t completely transform, but you will see less fat around your cheeks, and your face muscles will tense up.
  • Decrease in arm size. Some people tend to have larger arms than others, but by losing weight you will have much tighter arm muscles

Other changes that you may notice are - you'll be sweating a lot less. Also, you won't be out of breath as much, and most of all - you'll get rid of a lot of pain around your body.

Health

Being healthy and looking healthy isn’t the same. That’s because some people might be active and eat well without being toned and muscular. However, these two things often come hand in hand.

Working out before bed: Person standing on scales.

So anytime you decide to work out, make sure to focus on how you feel

By doing exercises before bed, you will improve your mental health. This includes feelings of depression and anxiety, which are common causes for lack of sleep. Likewise, it will help you lose and maintain body weight. Finally, the risk of heart disease will be lowered, because your heart muscles will become stronger.

Sounds good, right? Nothing but positives. However, you need to consider some things before you start exercising before bed.

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Risks

Knowing all of these health benefits of working out in general, who would think that it is bad before bed, right? 

Well, earlier research did suggest that working out at night will pump out a lot of adrenaline, and you won't be able to fall asleep. However, recent studies have shown that exercising before bed is in fact beneficial in terms of sleep and workout results. [4]

One thing that you have to be concerned about is the time of your workout. If you jump straight to bed after working out, you will have trouble sleeping.

However, if you wait at least an hour before going to bed - your sleep will be unaffected

Working out before bed: Woman checking the time.

The other thing is staying consistent with your workouts. While performing exercises during the day, you don’t get side-tracked that much.

But later in the evening, other stuff might distract you from your workouts like fatigue, leisure time, and lack of sunlight.

Therefore, you must be wary of your dedication and energy to complete the exercises before bed.

Bed Appliances for Better Sleep Quality After a Workout

Extensive workouts require you to have a quality rest. That is because your body releases muscle growth hormones during your sleep. Therefore, if you choose to exercise before bed - having quality sleep should be right up your alley!

"What if I just can’t sleep?"

Working Out Before Bed: man unable to sleep.

Well, it's kind of a problem, but you can fix it! To make things easier for your working out before bed routine - you could try out some new sleep appliances.

There are many products that you can add to your bedroom, and improve your well-being after doing exercises before bed. However, it’s never easy to find something that will actually make an impact.

For this reason, you might as well check out some bed products that will surely ease the struggle at finding the right side to sleep on!

Compare Mattresses Side by Side With Others

Did you know?

Have you ever wondered which mattresses are approved as the best for sleep?

See & compare TOP3 mattresses side by side

Mattresses 

There are various types of mattresses with different characteristics. And each of them have their respective advantages that help alleviate pain and increase sleep quality. But how to choose the right one for you?

When choosing a mattress, you have to consider its firmness. In fact, there is a mattress firmness scale that goes from 1 to 10. The usual mattress has medium-firmness which ranges from 4 to 7 on the scale. 

In short, medium-firm are the most common types of mattresses. But how to know what firmness is right for you? Well, it can be determined by:

  • the way you sleep
  • your weight
  • health issues that you may have

By knowing what sleep-impacting issues you might have, you will feel more comfortable choosing the right mattress. Now have a look at some mattresses based on multiple issues that you may encounter after working out before bed

Mattresses for back pain

Have you ever felt like you’ve been run over by a truck after waking up? I have, and I wasn't even working out before bed! Imagine having to deal with aches from your workout, and then - a creaky ol’ mattress with metal springs poking your back and neck.

Working out before bed: Man in pain after waking up.

While any mattress is better than a broken one, studies suggest that a medium-firm mattress with a temperature control feature is a great choice for people suffering from back pain and insomnia.[5]

This is where Saatva mattresses come in handy. If you find yourself in pain after working out at night - a hybrid mattress could be the right choice!

Hybrid mattresses are very well isolated. What that means is if you are sleeping with someone who moves around a lot - you won’t feel it on your side of the mattress. This helps maintain the quality and longevity of your sleep which is crucial if you decide to exercise before bed

Likewise, there are mattresses specifically designed for back pain. In fact, some mattresses for back pain like Saatva are made out of memory foam which is a very soft material that equally distributes body weight on the mattress. 

What does this mean for you?

Well, you won’t have to worry about waking up to even more pain after working out before bed. So, if you are looking for an all-around mattress that alleviates pain, a Saatva classic could do the job just fine!

Losing Weight - With a Mattress?

Wondering if it’s possible to lose weight while sleeping? Sounds like a whole lot of nonsense, right? Well, you'd be surprised. In fact, some mattresses will help you to do just that! 

“Are you telling me that I will lose weight by sleeping?”

Not directly. With a better mattress, you will sleep longer, and the quality of your sleep will be better. And, considering that you start working out before bed, you may fall asleep faster which will reduce the chances of getting hungry!

Working out before bed: Woman laying on a bed.

“Okay. What’s a good mattress for a heavy person?”

I’m glad you asked! Let’s say you’re looking for a sturdy and comfortable mattress. In this case, things such as weight distribution and temperature control must be taken into consideration.

So how do you choose the right one?

It’s quite simple. Saatva mattresses are built from high-quality materials that can withstand a person with an above-average weight!

It’s actually quite common for people with bigger bodies to acquire such mattresses, because of much better edge support that makes the mattress more durable.

Furthermore, these mattresses have cutting-edge temperature control and balanced firmness so your sleep does not get interrupted. 

Sleep quality improving mattresses

So, let’s say you don’t experience any pain after waking up, but the bed feels uncomfortable and you can’t fall asleep fast enough! And you’re just tired after working out before bed so you’re hesitating about doing it tomorrow. What then? 

Not to worry. There are plenty of mattresses that have only the best sleep-improving features. And there are no criteria for your weight or sleeping position - these mattresses are universal.

If that is something that you're looking for - check out the best overall mattresses! Trust me, they will have your back...or stomach.  

Anyways, some of the most distinctive features of these mattresses that will improve your sleep are: 

  • Great weight distribution. It protects you from being woken up by a very “mobile” partner who just has to get a glass of water at 3 AM.
  • Firmness level. This is very important for you to feel like you’re lying on a comfortable surface, and not sinking into a bed with springs hitting your back.
  • Temperature control. Mattresses with good temperature control will ensure that you wake up not soaked in sweat.

All in all, if you are looking to improve your quality of sleep, especially after doing exercises before bed, a high-quality mattress will in fact get you up and running the next day!

Pillows

All of us can agree that from time to time we get an achy neck after a good (or bad) night’s sleep. Especially if you did some neck exercises before bed.

This could be the cause of lying on a low-quality pillow that does not have the proper weight distribution and shape

Working out before bad: Woman in pain after sleeping.

For this reason, Saatva pillows come in all shapes and sizes, and have different features. In terms of neck pain, I would consider the Saatva memory foam pillow to be the best choice. This one is specifically made for those who have aches in the neck area

It is made from high-quality memory foam which lets the pillow comfortably wrap around your head and neck. They are perfect accessories for your sleeping needs, especially if you combine them with some of the most comfortable mattresses

Tips for Evening Workouts

Ever wondered if there are external factors that may interrupt your workout and sleep?

Of course, you just might not see them as issues. And some of them have probably been part of your routine for a long time! So, if you are looking to make exercising before bed a part of your routine - you must be prepared to leave something out! 

"But what if it is very important to my evening schedule?"

Okay, let’s say that we’ve got that covered as well. Wanna know what it is all about? Take a look at these basic tips and tricks that will let you exercise before bed and spend the night however you like!

Drink Tea

Let’s say you have your new soft mattress, pillow, but you are still having trouble sleeping after working out before bed. Well, you can try some simple alternatives - like tea!

That's right! You might’ve heard before that drinking tea will make you fall asleep easier

Working out before bed: Tea with lemon in a cup.

However, that is not entirely true

Most teas have moderate amounts of caffeine. It is significantly lower than the amount in coffee, but it can still impact your sleep quality. However, some teas have very low caffeine or no caffeine at all! 

Let’s take, for instance, passionflower tea. It’s a great late-night drink with absolutely no caffeine in it. As a matter of fact, studies show that passionflower tea is the perfect late-night drink to increase sleep quality on any occasion[6]

If you’d like to learn more about late-night tea, you should check out our article about the best tea for sleep

Multitask

Nowadays, going to bed is usually combined with late-night entertainment like watching TV series or scrolling through your phone. And after being exposed to blue light from your phone - it gets harder to fall asleep!

"So what’s the alternative?"

Simple - just do both at the same time! Let’s say, it’s late at night and you’re at the gym. What do you do while you work out? Most people would say that they just listen to music or completely focus on their workout routine.

You might do that too, right? But you can listen to music anytime. So what if you’re just waiting to go home and watch your favorite TV series? Well, why wait? You can put your phone on the treadmill or on your lap, depending on the exercise. 

Working out before bed: person using a phone in the gym.

That sounds like a pretty obvious solution. But sometimes you don't even think about it! And I've been doing this for ages.

What I would usually do is put my phone on the ground and do biceps curls or have it on my lap when using the lat pull machine. 

This way you will have the working out at night and entertainment aspects covered before you go to bed! Then there is nothing else for you to do after gym! You’re tired, you got your daily dose of entertainment. And going to sleep sounds like a great way to finish your day!

Adjust Your Sleeping Position

We all have our unique sleeping positions. If you’re in any way like me, you just roll around the bed until you find the perfect spot! Worst part is - we don’t usually consider our sleeping position, and if it could be bad for us. 

This is important especially for those who enjoy doing exercises before bed. Because waking up all tangled up and in pain might put you off from working out late at night!

But the cause is most likely not because of your exercises - it’s the way you lay on your bed.

Working out before bed: man laying in bed with a pillow.

"So do I just change the way I sleep?"

I mean, that would be the idea. But it isn’t as easy as you might think, because most people tend to move around and switch sleeping positions while they are asleep

"Is there anything I can do about it?"

Actually, there is. The solution is - more pillows. That’s right. 

An article from the University of Rochester Medical Center suggests that having additional pillows to support your back can help reduce spinal pain. For instance, if you sleep on your back - small pillows under your knees will relieve back pain.

If you sleep or wake up lying on your stomach - you could try placing a pillow under your stomach which will also make it easier on your back

Finally, if you choose to sleep on the side, a good idea would be to place a small pillow between your knees, and a flat pillow beneath your waist. This will make sure that your spine is less affected by your sleeping position.

Working out before bed: woman hugging a pillow.

In fact, having good posture while lying on a comfortable mattress and pillow, will lead to a much better sleeping experience.

Also, if you are looking to know more about sleeping positions, you should check out our article on the best sleeping positions for your health.

Try Polyphasic Sleep

Ever tried taking naps in between your daily routine? I know I have, and it works, but not for everyone. Dividing your sleep into multiple parts of the day will let you stay energized for your exercises at night.

But for some, taking small naps every now and then might interrupt their night's sleep. Therefore, try to experiment and see if it's right for you!

Interested in learning more about taking short naps during the day? Take a look at our article about polyphasic schedules and dividing your sleep.

Conclusions

While working out before bed sounds like an unusual time, it could be a perfect solution to your busy schedule. Combined with a good amount of sleep, bed appliances, and workout remedies - exercising before bed might become a regular part of your day.

But the question still stands - should you work out before bed? Well, if you are on a tight schedule - working out in the evening might be beneficial for you. Not only that, if you have trouble sleeping, exercising before bed may help you fall asleep faster

Anyhow, exercising at any time of the day will be an improvement to your health. As long as you remember to have a quality rest on a comfortable mattress. It’s true, your muscles won’t grow, and you won’t lose any weight if you don’t give your body some time to relax. 


Scientific References

1. Ngan A, Conduit R: 'A double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of the effects of Passiflora incarnata (passionflower) herbal tea on subjective sleep quality'

2. Snijders T, Res P, Smeets J, et al.: 'Protein Ingestion before Sleep Increases Muscle Mass and Strength Gains during Prolonged Resistance-Type Exercise Training in Healthy Young Men'

3. Jurado-Fasoli L, De-la-O A, Molina-Hidalgo C, et al.: 'Exercise training improves sleep quality: A randomized controlled trial'

4. Vincent G, Sarget C, Roach G, et al.: 'Exercise before bed does not impact sleep inertia in young healthy males'

5. University of Rochester Medical Center: 'Good Sleeping Posture Helps Your Back'

6. Radwan A, Fess P, James D, et al.: 'Effect of different mattress designs on promoting sleep quality, pain reduction, and spinal alignment in adults with or without back pain; systematic review of controlled trials'


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FAQ

Is working out before bed any good?

Working out before bed is definitely good if you do it the right way. It is the perfect way to get yourself on track without losing any sleep. In fact, combining exercises with quality sleep on a comfortable Saatva mattress might work wonders for you.

Does working out before bed help you sleep?

If you experience trouble sleeping - working out before bed might be the first step to fixing your problem. Wearing yourself out before a good night's sleep could be the way to go especially for people with insomnia or depression.

What is a memory foam mattress?

Memory foam mattresses are created mostly from polyurethane and have additional chemicals added that increase its viscosity and density. It’s also often called “viscoelastic polyurethane foam”. In order to create the air movement and let your body “breath” while you sleep, it has open foam bubbles. Memory foam mattresses are created in a way to adapt to your body curves and to also recover their original shape after you get up. Therefore, this kind of top mattresses offer you the feeling as if is created specifically for you.

Do top rated mattresses offer a money-back guarantee? Is there a catch?

All of the top mattress brands offer a money-back guarantee. The free trial usually starts from 90 to 100 nights, and if you don’t like the mattress, you can simply give it back. The majority of best mattress providers will not only give your money back but will also come to get it for free. If the mattress provider is reputable, there won’t be any catch - everyone understands that you have to try the mattress before knowing if it fits you.

What is off-gassing? Is it poisonous?

Off-gassing refers to the odor which comes from a new mattress. It’s the process that happens when volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) leak out of the mattress foam into the air. Those chemicals include both human-made and natural components, including formaldehyde, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), benzene, trichloroethane, and perfluorocarbons. Top rated mattresses will have zero or very minimal off-gassing. Many of them are sent to the customer already after the off-gassing. Is it dangerous, though? Even though the smell can be unpleasant, there’s usually only a very small amount of chemicals that can do no harm to your health.

How long do top rated mattresses serve?

The durability of a mattress depends on the provider and the quality of the materials used. Usually, you get a 10-year warranty, which will be valid in case of any defects. Normally, mattresses will serve you from 7 to 10 years, or even longer. Thus, when you buy the best mattress, you should take it as a long-term investment.