Advice from Dr. Mimi Secor on exercise and sleep patterns

It depends on what your workout you’re doing, says Dr. Mimi Secor. In some cases, it can help you sleep better.

PORTLAND, Maine – We all know the importance of exercising as often as possible, but these days it can be difficult to find the time in the day to achieve this. A sports medicine study published in 2019 examined the effects night exercise can have on sleep behavior.

Dr. Mimi Secor, author of “Healthy and Fit at Any Age”, explains what we can learn from the results of the study and how we can ultimately sleep better. Dr. Secor DNP, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, has been a registered nurse specializing in women’s health for over 40 years, and she is also a fitness and health advocate.

“A recent systematic study from 2019 examined the effects of evening exercise on sleep in healthy participants. This study shows surprising conclusions, ”said Secor. “They concluded that evening exercise did not negatively affect sleep. In fact, they found the opposite, that it can improve sleep.”

There are a few caveats, however, including what kind of workout you do and how close to bed you do it.


sector: “Some people cannot fall asleep while exercising at night, especially just before bed. In general, it is recommended that you avoid exercise at least 60 minutes before bedtime.

Exhausting exercise is more likely to disturb sleep by getting us going. It is generally best to minimize excessive physical activity several hours before bedtime.

If you want to exercise, try stretching instead of cardio (walking, running, cycling). “


Sector: “Exhaustive exercise increases heart rate and body temperature, and these effects can lead to increased alertness. It can take several hours to relax, get sleepy, and be ready to sleep. “


Sector: “While this is an individual preference, a good rule of thumb is several hours before your desired sleep time. Personally, when traveling, for example, I often train at night before going to bed, but I always stop training at least an hour before I go to sleep.

It takes some people many hours to relax and prepare for sleep after moderate to vigorous exercise. “


Sector: “Exhaustive exercise is scientifically defined as any activity that consumes at least 7 Metabolic Equivalents (METS) per minute or more 2008 Guidelines for Physical Activity for Adults, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.

In relative terms, this corresponds to an energy consumption of 7 on a scale from 1 to 10, with one being the energy expended while sitting still and 10 being the maximum effort. ”(NOTE: I like this definition because it is easy for people to understand and based on their own exercise is to be used).

An easy way to determine exercise intensity is to use a percentage of the maximum heart rate, which is defined as the target heart rate. According to the American Heart Association, a person’s maximum heart rate is around 220 minus their age. His target heart rate for physical activity is between 50 percent (medium intensity) and 85 percent (high intensity). In other words, a 40-year-old male has a maximum heart rate of 180. Therefore, his target heart rate is around 90 for moderately vigorous exercise and around 153 for vigorous exercise. These guidelines will vary based on individual fitness and general health. ”

Exercises that are okay before bed

Sector: “Stretching, possibly gentle yoga, walking slowly, or cycling on a stationary bike.

Low intensity has less of an impact on your sleep. Generally, if you can have a conversation while exercising, it is a low-intensity exercise.

Gentle stretching can be relaxing and can help you prepare for sleep. “

To learn more about Dr. To see Mimi Secor or her new book available for pre-order, click here.

More NEWS CENTER Maine Stories

Leave a Comment