Going out for a stroll in evening may not cause sleep problems, as previously thought. Engaging in moderate physical activity like cycling and jogging were also found to cause no significant difficulties. The study published in the journal Sports Medicine challenged previous studies claiming that sleep quality can be hampered by exercising in the evening.
Doing exercise for four hours before going to bed does not have a negative effect on sleep, the study revealed.
However, one must take caution and not exercise too close to bedtime. Vigorous training within an hour before bedtime may cause sleep troubles.
"If doing sport in the evening has any effect on sleep quality at all, it is rather a positive effect, albeit only a mild one," said Christina Spengler, Deputy Head from the ETH Zurich in Switzerland.
The findings revealed that small group of people after taking part in some kind of sport in the evening, spent 21.2 per cent of their sleeping time in deep sleep, compared to 19.9 per cent following an evening without exercise.
The group which completed an intensive training session shortly before bedtime took longer to fall asleep.
The scientists said that the reason for the erratic sleep pattern may stem from the fact that they did recover sufficiently in the hour before they went to bed. Their hearts were still beating more than 20 beats per minute faster than their resting heart rate.
The researchers said that the deep sleep phases are very crucial for physical recovery
"Moderate exercise did not cause sleep problems in any of the studies examined, not even when the training session ended just 30 minutes before bedtime.
"However, vigorous training or competitions should be scheduled earlier in the day, if possible," said Jan Stutz, doctoral student at the varsity.
Foods To Induce Sound Sleep
Just as how you should not train just before going to bed, experts round the world also advise against eating anything too close to bedtime. Doing so may induce sugar spikes and keep you up whole night. However if you are finding it difficult to sleep, there are some foods that are known to naturally induce sleep too. Consume them in the evening, or through the day to catch up on you much needed zzz's.
Here are some sleep inducing foods you can consider:
1. Warm milk: Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that converts into serotonin. This compound has soothing effects on your brain, which helps promote sleep.
2. Cherries: Cherries are packed with melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland that is known to regulate sleep-wake cycle. Make sure you do not have more than 10-12 cherries a day.
3. Almonds: In addition to tryptophan, almonds are also enriched with magnesium. Magnesium is helpful in keeping your heart's rhythm steady and calm you down.
4. Bananas: Bananas are loaded with sleep promoting tryptophan, magnesium, potassium. Their good carb content is also effective in making you sleep naturally.
5. Oats: Oats contain sleep-promoting melatonin. There are multiple ways in which you can prepare oats. Here are our favourites.
Include these foods in your diet and see the results yourself. Make sure you consult your doctor before making any major alteration.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.