Despite exercise benefits for sleep and appetite, due to increased time restraints, many adults remain inactive. Methods to improve exercise compliance include preferential time‐of‐day or engaging in short‐duration, high‐intensity interval exercise (HIIE). Hence, this study aimed to compare effects of HIIE time‐of‐day on sleep and appetite. Eleven inactive men undertook sleep monitoring to determine baseline (BASE) sleep stages and exclude sleep disorders. On separate days, participants completed 30 min HIIE (60 s work at 100% , 240 s rest at 50% ) in (1) the morning (MORN; 06.00–07.00 h), (2) the afternoon (AFT; 14.00–16.00 h) and (3) the early evening (EVEN: 19.00–20.00 h). Measures included appetite‐related hormones (acylated ghrelin, leptin, peptide tyrosine tyrosine) and glucose pre‐exercise, 30 min post‐exercise and the next morning; overnight polysomnography (PSG; sleep stages); and actigraphy, self‐reported sleep and food diaries for 48 h post‐exercise. There were no between‐trial differences for total sleep time (P = 0.46). Greater stage N3 sleep was recorded for MORN (23 ± 7%) compared to BASE (18 ± 7%; P = 0.02); however, no between‐trial differences existed (P > 0.05). Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep was lower and non‐REM sleep was higher for EVEN compared to BASE (P ≤ 0.05). At 30 min post‐exercise, ghrelin was higher for AFT compared to MORN and EVEN (P = 0.01), while glucose was higher for MORN compared to AFT and EVEN (P ≤ 0.02). No between‐trial differences were observed for perceived appetite (P ≥ 0.21) or energy intake (P = 0.57). Early evening HIIE can be performed without subsequent sleep disruptions and reduces acylated ghrelin. However, perceived appetite and energy intake appear to be unaffected by HIIE time of day.