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I understand that cardiovascular exercise raises the body temperature immediately, making it harder to sleep at the moment. But then, after 5 hours, your body temperature falls below what it was right before you started exercising, making it easier to sleep.

Therefore, when I want to sleep at 10 PM, it's good to finish 20-30 minutes of exercise by 5 PM.

But if 5 PM slips by and I haven't exercised, have I lost all chance of utilizing this mechanism? Or are there some changes I can make to the activity I would have done that will result in my body cooling itself off faster?

  • Any exercise were you get tired, will augment the necessity of a rest (sleep). If you feel tired, no matter which is your body temperature. – tremendows Mar 10 '18 at 9:52
  • I am usually fine after a couple of hours (only based on feeling - no heart rate monitor or other tool)... – Brian Mains Apr 10 '18 at 20:14
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To improve sleep, there are many other things that you can do, that have much greater affect on your sleep quality.

  • Develop a consistent sleep regime
  • Less light at night
  • Reduce caffeine intake in the afternoon
  • Less screen time
  • Reduce noise pollution, when going to sleep
  • Less/No alcohol at night

If you really want to take advantage of the temperature drop - take a hot shower in the evening.

Trying to time relatively short workout session in order to have a better sleep will probably not produce a noticeable result.

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    Most of these I'm already doing. I know the circadian rhythm to be very important, I keep lights dim in the evening, and I never touch caffeine or alcohol. Things are pretty quiet, and if there's risk of significant noise, I use earplugs, often 33 dB power. I stop looking at screens about an hour before I turn the lights off. But the shower idea sounds good. – Post169 Jun 5 '18 at 21:58

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