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Eur J Sport Sci. 2019 May 9:1-10. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2019.1611934. [Epub ahead of print]

Moderate-intensity exercise performed in the evening does not impair sleep in healthy males.

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a Central Queensland University, The Appleton Institute for Behavioural Science , Adelaide , Australia.
b Human Exercise and Training Laboratory , School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University , Rockhampton , Australia.


The aim of this study was to examine the effect of single bouts of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and moderate-intensity resistance exercise performed in the evening on the sleep of healthy young males. The study employed a repeated-measures, counterbalanced, crossover design with three conditions (control, evening aerobic exercise, evening resistance exercise). Twelve male participants (mean ± SD; age: 21.9 ± 2.7 yr) attended the laboratory on three occasions separated by one day between each visit. Between 20:45 h and 21:30 h, participants completed either no exercise, 30 min of aerobic exercise at 75%HRmax, or 30 min of resistance exercise corresponding to 75% of 10-repetition maximum. A 9-h sleep opportunity was provided between 23:00 h and 08:00 h. Core body temperature was measured using ingestible temperature capsules and sleep was measured using polysomnography. Core body temperature was higher during the aerobic exercise and resistance exercise compared to control (p = 0.001). There was no difference in core body temperature at bedtime between the conditions. Sleep onset latency, total sleep time, slow-wave sleep duration, REM sleep duration, wake after sleep onset and sleep efficiency were similar in each condition (p > 0.05). Single bouts of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or moderate-intensity resistance exercise performed in the evening did not impact subsequent night-time sleep. Core body temperature increased during both forms of exercise, but returned to pre-exercise levels in the 90 min prior to bedtime. Healthy young males can engage in a single bout of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or moderate-intensity resistance exercise ceasing 90 min before bed without compromising their subsequent sleep.


Sleep duration; core body temperature; exercise; polysomnography; sleep hygiene; slow wave sleep

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