5 Tips for Better Sleep After Your Evening Workout

With your daily routine packed to the brim, when is the best time to squeeze in a workout? For many of us, exercising after work or at night may be our only option. But if you find yourself tossing and turning afterward—increased excitation hormones could be playing an unwelcome role. From adjusting pre-workout timing to taking steps once you get home from the gym, these strategies will ensure that physical activity doesn’t interfere with getting some quality shut-eye!

1. Plan Calm Down Time

To ensure a good night’s rest, give yourself plenty of time between hitting the gym and hitting the hay. Ideally, three hours should pass to allow your body plenty of space for recovery from exercise – but if you’re short on time then two is enough as long as you finish up by 8 pm sharp! If eating after working out tends to disrupt your sleep, make sure that dinner (or any post-workout snacks) comes at least 30 minutes before bed for the best results.

Reading a book in bed

2. Don’t Skip The Cool Down

After a workout, give your body the love it deserves by engaging in some restorative stretching. Whether that means taking part in a soothing yoga session or just doing a few simple stretches, matching focused breathing with movement can help guide you back to parasympathetic relaxation and replenish lost energy.

a woman takes a slow, deep breathe in

3. Breathe (Through Your Nose)

In the same thread as tip #2, give yourself the gift of breathing and try Triangle Breathing after a good workout. Inhale through your nose for four seconds, then exhale for another four before taking a two-second pause – all while keeping your mouth closed! Perform this one-minute exercise regularly to reap its calming rewards of lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, increased heart rate variability, and an overall sense of peace. Just be wary not to get too comfortable in that gym chair, you don’t want unintentionally doze off during your breather!

4. Turn Down the Heat

After a vigorous workout, it may be tempting to take a hot shower. However, this could have the opposite effect of helping you get some shut-eye, as an elevated body temperature can make drifting off more and more difficult. To prepare your mind for restful sleep, try adjusting the water in your pre-bedtime showers to room temperature instead.

5. Shut Off Your Screens

This one is not exclusive to late-night workouts, but especially after an evening training session, too much exposure to screens before bedtime could interfere with your sleep. Instead of using technology that emits blue light near the end of your day, switch off those devices at least 30 minutes before bed and choose a more calming activity like reading or meditating so you’re ready for quality rest at night.

a woman lays in bed under her covers, scrolling on her phone

After a hard day of work, evening exercise can be an incredibly beneficial habit – but it’s important to take the right steps and precautions so that your workout doesn’t interfere with sleep. Incorporating techniques such as stretching, cool-down periods after workouts, and nasal breathing while showering in lukewarm water away from screens and bright lights will help ensure you get restful shuteye without compromising on physical activity! Don’t forget to check with your doctor for additional advice regarding possible sleep supplements if needed, then go forth knowing you have taken all necessary measures for both productive exercise and quality Zzzzs.