Q. If you have trouble getting to sleep, or staying asleep, can exercise be a solution?
A. Exercise is a perfect solution. Exercising regularly can help people fall asleep faster and give them a better night’s sleep.
Q. If so, why is that?
A. Late evening workouts can de-stress us and help us turn off our brain after a day of stimulation. Exercising at night can make us more relaxed and tired facilitating a better night’s sleep.
Q. You offer late night exercising at Parcfitness … why is this?
A. Having the flexibility to go to our Rose Bay club at anytime gives our members the flexibility of working out when it is convenient for them. Some of our members work crazy hours such as nurses & flight attendants, so it is important for them to be able to go to the gym after they finish their shift, even if it is at 3am!
If you train late at night at our club, you have the whole place to yourself and you can take as long as you want with the equipment, so people feel comfortable training in that environment. It is like having your own private gym.
Q. Have you found that many of your clients have sleep issues? If so, what has been their feedback re the effectiveness of working out at night?
A. Yes, there a lot of people these days who suffer from sleep issues, mainly because of stress. There are a lot of sleeping medicines out there, such as herbal teas and pills that advertise that they help people sleep, but they all have the tendency to make the person an addict. If you want a permanent solution to insomnia or sleep issues, exercise
Our clients who train late at night are not morning people, so a 5k jog at 6 a.m. is just not going to happen. They find they are more committed to their exercise regime because their bodies have more energy late at nights than early in the mornings. They find that late evenings do not have the same level of distractions or disruptions as other times of the day.
Also, most peoples lifestyle these days do not allow for a midday workout. So exercising in the late evening is the only time to squeeze in a sweat session.
Q. What are the best late-night exercises to do in order to enhance sleep?
A. In order to get the maximum benefit from sleep and exercise, aim for some type of cardiovascular exercise at least six days a week, such as:
- Riding a bike
Strength training is important for building muscle, increasing bone density and raising metabolism. Incorporate some light weight lifting into exercise programs to get the most benefit from the time spent exercising.
Another exercise to sleep better involves stretching to relieve stiffness and tension. Yoga classes and physical therapists teach stretching techniques. Slow, gentle stretches at bedtime might also improve sleep and increase relaxation
Q. Any other fitness advice for poor sleepers?
A. Finish eating two hours before you lie down. If your stomach is full or you’re digesting a big meal, it’s hard to fall asleep. Not to mention, lying down with a full belly can also lead to heartburn, which will definitely keep you up.
Don’t drink alcohol before bed, as it leads to reduced sleep efficiency , or less quality sleep.
Finally, stay away from caffeine in the evening. Try a hot milky or herbal drink instead. Other ways you can relax before bed include having a warm bath or listening to some quiet music.