Time to unwind
Some of us are early birds, happy to hop out of bed long before the sun to get our hearts pumping in Iva’s 7:00 A.M. ride. Others of us, however, view getting up even earlier than we need to before work as a sort of cruel and unusual punishment. If you fall into the latter camp, we hear ya!
That’s why we have such a flexible schedule at Rocycle, ensuring that you can get a class in, even if you’re a tried and true night owl. But we started to wonder. As much as we love giving it our all in those 9:00 P.M. classes and falling straight into bed, are those annoying little rumours about high intensity evening sweat sessions ruining your sleep true??
Well, we’ve got some great news. You can breathe a sigh of relief because as long as you time your killer night-time workouts properly, you’ll still enjoy the beautiful, restful sleep you deserve. The journal Sports Medicine collated over 20 studies that examined the effects of strenuous evening workouts – think Rowen’s ‘Hate Eight’ and Stef’s insane pyramid sequences – and came to the conclusion that these workouts that leave you gasping for breath are 100% totally fine to do before bed. So long as you leave at least an hour between the end of your Ro’ride and the time you plan to hit the hay.
As you might expect, exercisers who finished incredibly intense workouts and tried to go to sleep right away did indeed struggle a bit to go to sleep. This comes as no real surprise to the morning exercisers, as you know you get a burst of energy and endorphins that wakes you up a bit after you’ve done a class.
The researchers hypothesized that the trouble dozing off was a result of the fact that the exercisers weren’t able to recover properly, with their hearts still beating more quickly than normal in the hour after completing their workouts. In fact, they were still beating up to 20 beats per minute faster than their hearts would at rest. Talk about getting the blood pumping!
If you do want to work out and fall immediately onto your pillow, there is a little workaround for you. Choose a less intense workout, and save your Ro’ride for right after work or for a midday pick-me-up. Moderate training like yoga or pilates has no negative effects on sleep, as the lower intensity allowed for faster recovery.
So what’s the takeaway? Those late-night Ro’rides are A-OK. Just be sure to schedule them with plenty of time to unwind before bed.