During my search for ways to improve my post-menopausal interrupted sleep, I keep coming across the advice to avoid exercise near bedtime. Each time, I have thought "What nonsense! It doesn't interfere with my sleep at all." After the fifth or tenth or seventieth time I encountered this, I decided to conduct an experiment.
Hypothesis: Contrary to common wisdom, exercise near bedtime is not detrimental to sleep.
Methodology: For about three weeks, I have spent fifteen minutes on the exercise bike just before letting the dog out one last time and getting into bed. I continued to record my sleep data (time to bed, time fell asleep, number of times waking up, time alarm went off, quality of tiredness) in my journal as usual. I have been too lazy or too busy, pick one, to chart this data and present it in a table.
Conclusion: Bedtime exercise does not increase interruptions to sleep, and may even be preventative. (The one time I missed doing the bike was the time I woke up once every hour all night long, instead of one to three times a night. I wasn't missing exercise per se because I'd been for a long walk earlier in the day.) Of course, the drawback to a study with one subject is the lack of controls. It is convincing enough to make me keep working at squeezing the time for exercise in at the end of the day.