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Late-Night Exercise Does Not Disturb Sleep

Many fitness instructors give you bad advice when they tell you not to exercise within three hours of going to sleep. Only three controlled studies on the effect of exercising before going to sleep exist in the scientific literature. All show that exercising vigorously before going to bed does not interfere with sleep. The latest study from the University of California, San Diego, shows that 3 hours of vigorous pedaling at 70 percent of maximum oxygen uptake in very bright lights did not stop fit men from falling or staying asleep.

The old argument was that vigorous exercise raises causes your body to produce large amounts of its own stimulants, adrenalin and nor adrenalin, that make your heart beat rapidly, raise body temperature and prevent you from feeling tired. Now we learn that exercise helps to prevent disease, prolong life and make you feel good. So it is better to exercise when ever you can, even if it's just before you go to bed.

Youngstedt SD, Kripke DF, Elliott JA. Is sleep disturbed by vigorous late-night exercise? Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999(June);31(6):864-869.

Checked 8/31/08

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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