Can Exercise Help You Sleep Better?
How can exercise improve your sleep? Beyond merely becoming tired from the effort, regular exercise can help you sleep better by reducing stress and alleviating anxieties, to name only two of the many benefits regarding exercise and sleep.
While the studies confirm the connection between physical activity and improving sleep, science has yet to understand the relationship entirely. But researchers demonstrate that the duration of slow-wave sleep (the deep sleep where the body and brain can rejuvenate) increases with moderate aerobic exercise.
The effects of just 30 minutes of exercise can impact your sleep quality on day one. Regardless, you should be sleeping better within a few days.
What Kind of Exercise?
Moderate-intensity aerobic activities can help alleviate certain sleep disorders like Obstructive Sleep Apnea and are often more effective than vigorous exercise.
The best exercises for sleep are those that keep you engaged and foster a routine or habit. It’s common sense that the more active you are, the more your body will require rest. So, any exercise can benefit your sleep, especially with a consistent routine.
Aerobic activities increase your heart rate and deliver significant physical benefits to cardio and overall well-being.
Strength training and resistance exercises can also improve the quality of your sleep while decreasing your risk of depression and anxiety, known risk factors for sleep disorders such as insomnia.
One very accessible exercise option is yoga, a particular style of resistance training focusing on posture, breathing, and meditation. This discipline helps people reduce pain, lose weight, alleviate stress, and offers substantial benefits for many other aspects of your physical and mental health.
Along with yoga, going for a walk, a casual bike ride, a dip in the pool, or any other simple, light physical activity can aid your efforts for better sleep.
When Should You Exercise?
Developing and sticking with a routine is far more critical than the time of day or days of the week you choose for your exercise. Ideally, you can build a 30-minute workout five days a week. Alternatively, you can incorporate two 15-minute sessions or three blocks of 10 minutes if that is easier to maintain.
Traditionally, experts recommend against working out before bedtime as exercising increases body temperature and produces hormones like endorphins, which can inhibit sleep. However, recent research indicates no evidence that this theory is accurate.
Exercising outdoors in the daylight holds particular benefits, like setting your body’s clock to establish a good sleep-wake cycle. Natural sunlight boosts your vitamin D levels, can improve your mood and overall outlook, reduce stress, and relieve anxiety.
No matter your choice of exercise or time of day, any consistent physical activity can help you achieve more restful sleep. Exercise significantly benefits your physical and mental health, can reduce stress, relieve anxiety, and help you achieve more deep and restorative sleep.
Consistency is essential to making exercise an effective tool for improving sleep quality. Create a routine with activities you enjoy, and choose a time of day to help you stay on track. This combination is crucial because if you try to fit exercise into your day, it will likely not happen.
A consistent exercise routine can be essential to quality sleep in the long run.
There are many reasons that individuals have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. The Sleep Science Academy’s unique program incorporates multiple disciplines and approaches to help people overcome their sleep challenges like insomnia.
Our highly trained professional sleep coaches will guide and empower you to understand and make the changes that can bring the kind of deep, restorative sleep your body needs, including helping you craft the ideal exercise regimen to fit your lifestyle and help you attain your goals.
To understand more about Dynamic Sleep Recalibration (DSR) and how it can help you achieve better sleep, check out this article.
Are you ready for a better night’s sleep? It only takes a couple of minutes to contact us, schedule your free evaluation, and begin working with your personal sleep coach to build the routines and gain the skills to help you finally achieve restorative and restful sleep.