Exercise Affects Sleep
Exercise Affects Sleep
Did you know that exercise can have an effect on your sleep? Impacts on the quality of your sleep can come from how, when and where you exercise. Paying attention to this will help you get the quality sleep your body needs while maintaining your exercise program for your health.
Can Exercise Improve Your Sleep?
In a word, yes, exercise can improve your sleep. Many experts point to getting enough exercise as a key ingredient in getting good sleep. Changing your lifestyle to include getting daily exercise is a simple lifestyle improvement you can do immediately to improve the quality of your sleep.
However, experts point out that certain times are better than others when exercising to help with your sleep.
They state that generally speaking, mid to late afternoon is the best time to exercise. Getting your exercise at these times will get your body up and help prevent that mid-afternoon sleepy feeling that could make you lie down for a nap. Napping in the afternoon can prevent you from being sleepy at bedtime. Exercise in the late afternoon will get your metabolism going and increase your circulation and body heat. It also burns calories as you tire yourself from the exercise. As your body cools down from exercise it seems to get your body ready for sleep.
You should not exercise within 4 hours of bedtime say the experts. Exercise releases endorphins and other body chemicals that can prevent you from falling asleep when bedtime arrives. When you exercise and raise your body temperature along with releasing these endorphins, you prevent the feeling of being sleepy, even though the release of these chemicals may make you feel good. For this reason, it is advised to not work out during the 4 hours immediately before your bedtime.
If you can’t exercise in the afternoon, and morning is the only time you can exercise, that is better than getting no exercise at all. Exercise is good for the body, so at least getting some exercise in the morning will promote good health and keep your body in top shape. Since exercise can also relieve tension it has benefits for your sleep overall.
What Is The Best Type Of Exercise For Good Sleep?
Most experts agree that cardiovascular exercise is best for promoting good sleep habits. Getting a 20-minute vigorous cardio workout will raise your body temperature and enhance circulation while giving your heart a good workout as well.
You don’t have to join a gym to get a good cardiovascular workout. You can do these exercises at home:
- Walking or light jogging
- Bike riding or a stationary bike
Making the exercise continuous for at least 20 minutes and vigorous in the key. When walking, make sure you are fast walking to get your heart rate up. The same goes for the other exercises listed. I’m sure you can think of others. The key is to do these exercises of your choice at least 3 times a week. You may find as you do them that you find that doing them every day becomes a routine when you notice how much better you feel.
For promoting healthy sleep you’ll find that Yoga and weight training are not as effective at helping you get good sleep. Although they aren’t necessarily the best choices when looking at promoting good sleep, they are still good choices to work into your exercise program. You may also find that Yoga or meditation before bedtime may help you relax and get into a state where you can fall asleep fast. If they work for you, use them. Yoga especially may help you stretch your muscles and relieve muscle tension that can cause you to have a hard time sleeping.
The main thing is that you should use them as additional methods and not as your main method since cardiovascular exercise is the preferred method.
So now you know how exercise affects sleep and that you should begin getting good cardiovascular exercise to promote good sleep. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section, and feel free to share tips with others.