If you are a fan of running at night, you will probably find yourself wondering how it can affect the body. After all, our bodies are sensitive instruments, designed to perform functions most effectively at various points throughout the day.
Modern life often means we have no choice but to earn our miles during the twilight hours, whether it be pounding sidewalks or using one The best grinders In the market. The good news is that running at night generally won’t negatively affect your performance although as always, the effects can vary depending on the individual.
How will running at night affect sleep?
One of the major issues related to nighttime running is the negative impact it is perceived to have on sleep patterns. However, according to physiotherapist Gina Renji, who has spent years working with professional athletes, “the jury is rather off topic.”
“It seems to depend on when you exercise,” Ring says. Referring to the research published in sports medicine (Opens in a new tab)“Some studies have shown that exercising two to three hours before bed will not affect your sleep and may even improve sleep patterns,” she says.
Gina Ring is an experienced physical therapist who has spent years working with professional athletes, including four years working at the High Performance Center in Bath, UK, with international judokas at an elite level. Together with her husband, she runs a multidisciplinary clinic.
Ring adds that while many studies have pointed to the benefits of exercising in the morning as exercise in the morning Adolescent Health Magazine (Opens in a new tab)The effects of night running depend on how close you are to the time you spend at night.
“It is generally believed that vigorous exercise less than an hour before bedtime may not be the best idea,” she explains. “This can negatively affect your sleep patterns by taking longer to fall asleep, and waking up more often during the night, although this appears to depend on your age and fitness.”
Monitoring your sleep and energy levels is the best way to determine if running late at night is good for you, but in general, if it fits better with your lifestyle and doesn’t keep you awake, there’s no need to worry about sleep levels.
Can running at night affect your performance?
How about while you’re actually running? Running at night usually means you’ve been up the whole day, expending energy, yet those who enjoy running at night feel that it can boost energy levels, not to mention it’s a great way to mentally release the stress of the day.
Whether you subscribe to this idea can largely depend on which part of the day you feel most productive.
As Ring said, “Early risers seem to peak earlier in the day, in terms of performance, compared to night owls. [check out a study in Sports Medicine (opens in new tab)]. Performance generally tends to peak more in the afternoon, but your individual circadian rhythms will affect that.
“If you are a night owl, you are less likely to perform at the peak of your morning competitions, and if you are awake in the morning, you are less likely to perform optimally in the evening.”
These claims are supported by a study published in Daily Rhythms Magazine (Opens in a new tab).
Are there benefits to running at night?
There are some potential benefits of night running, although research in this area has not been conducted extensively enough to draw any conclusive results.
“There is a suggestion that evening aerobic exercise may help control blood glucose levels in overweight adults,” Ring explains, adding that “one study found a significant improvement in glycemic control when comparing morning and evening exercise over Although this was not the case. It was confirmed by other studies.” This was observed in a study published in diabetes (Opens in a new tab).
As mentioned earlier, improved sleep is a potential positive side effect of night running, while it has also been suggested that restoring heart rate can be helped by evening aerobic exercise, but again, there is very little research on this topic.
Are there any downsides to running at night?
Finally, what about any drawbacks? “Aside from the obvious safety considerations of running alone at night, there do not appear to be any physiological disadvantages to running at night,” Ring thinks. However, she adds, “If you’re up early in the morning, it may not fit your body this time.”
In the end, your unique factors will be the determining factor in whether an evening run is the time for you to gain those precious kilometres. Why not give it a try to see how it works for you?