Does it prevent you from sleeping well?

Does it prevent you from sleeping well?


If there is often no other way than to devote time to physical activity in the evening, after a day of work, research warns of the harmful effects of late physical activity on sleep.

This time, French researchers studied the quality and quantity of sleep in young athletes after exercising before bed.

Their results confirm that evening exercise could lead to a level of neurophysiological arousal that could disrupt sleep.

Are endurance exercises more harmful than resistance exercises?

This study of 16 healthy young athletes, aged 21 to 27, used polysomnographic recordings (measures of brain activity, movement and breathing) and salivary cortisol levels.

The two types of exercise, endurance (using cardiorespiratory capacities, regular but light muscle contractions) or resistance (using muscular strength, rarer but strong muscle contractions), were carried out 1 hour before bedtime for 30 minutes.

In the end, theEndurance and resistance exercises have trained a quantity and quality sleep degraded, with efficiency reduced sleep after endurance exercise.

An adaptation of brain activity following physical exercise

Analyzes of spectral power by electroencephalography (which records electrical activity on the surface of the brain) revealed an increase in alpha and theta power (electrical signals produced by the brain) during certain phases of sleep after both types of sleep. exercises.

These increases could reflect adaptive changes in nighttime brain activity in response to exercise.

But the two types of exercise produced different impacts. The exercise in endurance led to an increase in brain activity (beta spectral power) and a elevation cortisol levels, suggesting hyperarousal. The one in resistance East associated with less brain activity and lower cortisol levels.

In summary: endurance exercises would have a greater negative impact on the neurophysiology some sleep.

No confirmed harmful effects

But be careful: although the study watch changes in sleep after nocturnal exercises, she does not consider these effects to be truly deleterious, a point that remains to be explored.

For Joy Perrier, post-doctoral student at the University of Caen, first author of the study, “these results provide valuable insight into the physiological effects of exercises. physicals carried out in the evening And confirm the warnings to avoid if possible physical activity late in the evening and less than 2 hours before bedtime. Precautionary principle.


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