By Tom DiChiara
The Rumor: Exercising at night can interfere with a good night's sleep
Maybe you're the kind of person who likes to lift weights while watching Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, go running in the park at 10 p.m. or practice Pilates after you've digested your dinner. If so, you've no doubt heard the rumblings that exercising at night is baaaaad for your sleep. After all, exercising raises your core body temperature, increases your heart rate and prompts your system to release stimulating...
Excessive daytime sleepiness is the primary symptom. Some people will deny sleepiness but feel fatigued. Other symptoms are snoring, snorting, and gasping sounds when you sleep -- often first noticed by a sleeping partner. Restless or unrefreshing sleep is also typical, as are headaches in the morning.
Excessive sleepiness during the day, alleviated by naps, can be a symptom of narcolepsy. Dreaming during naps and experiencing dream-like hallucinations as you fall asleep are also warning signs. Loss of muscle control (called cataplexy) that occurs with emotion, such as laughing or anger, and the inability to move as you're going to sleep or waking up (called sleep paralysis) are also symptoms.
The primary warning sign is the irresistible urge to move your legs shortly after you get into bed, in the middle of the night after awakening, or even when wide awake during the day. It usually feels better if you get up to walk around or rub your leg. A "creepy-crawly" or twitching feeling in the calves, feet, thighs, or arms are symptoms of restless leg syndrome -- the sensations of discomfort can be quite varied. Kicking or twitching leg movements during sleep, and sometimes while awake, may be warning signs.
Call Your Doctor About Sleep Problems if:
Your sleep does not improve with self-help techniques, such as establishing good sleep hygiene, cutting down on caffeine, exercising, and using relaxation techniques