Exercise is a great way to improve your health, your sleep, and your mood. So far, most researchers agree that exercise is the one thing that determines daytime behavior and is also associated with better sleep. Sleep and exercise go hand-in-hand because it is easier to fall asleep once you have exercised, and you also experience a better workout session after getting a good night’s rest.
How Does Exercise Affect Sleep?
It improves the quality of your sleep. It also increases the amount of time that you spend sleeping, especially the slow-wave sleep. Slow-wave sleep is also known as deep sleep and it is associated with feeling well-rested the following day. While in this state, the human growth hormone is released, your breathing slows down due to a slower heart rate, and your body repairs itself physically.
It is important to note that while exercise is a great way to improve the quality of your sleep for people of all ages, the effects of exercise on sleep tendencies differ depending on age and one’s overall health. For instance, older adults that have a routine for their exercise experience better sleep in that they do not experience restless sleep too often. They spend their sleeping time doing just that. When it comes to adolescents, evidence shows that regular exercise increases the amount of time they have REM (Rapid Eye Movement) during sleep. This is a stage of sleep that is associated with cognitive performance.
Does Exercise Help You Sleep?
Physical activity is one of the best ways to make your sleep drive higher or heighten the desire and need for sleep. It is because exercise helps the body feel tired, which is an essential part of getting better sleep. Your body wants to recover after it gets tired. Once you exercise, the body needs to rest and restore your energy.
Regular exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress, which is a major cause of sleep issues. A large number of adults confess that stressful thoughts are the reason they suffer from poor sleep because of the intrusive thoughts that keep them awake. Exercising regularly causes the brain to release endorphins that help in boosting your mood. This also makes your body relaxed, which means that you can get to sleep easily.
The best exercises to relieve sleep issues are aerobic exercise. They are often a drug-free way to treat insomnia and several sleep disorders. After a study of people with obstructive sleep apnea was conducted, it was discovered that a 12-week program of average-intensity aerobic exercises, as well as resistance training, was able to reduce their symptoms by about twenty-five percent. In addition to that, regular exercises have been shown to help in relieving other symptoms of sleep apnea and insomnia. These are such as depression, daytime sleepiness, and depression.
Can Sleep Help Your Exercise?
Yes, it can. People that have restless sleep or those that do not get enough sleep are usually less active compared to those that have better sleep quality. Additionally, there is evidence that shows that people with disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia are not as physically active as people that have good sleep quality. It could be because of the other symptoms that are associated with such disorders – for example, daytime sleepiness and fatigue. They make it very difficult to feel motivated to work out.
Having bad sleep quality is a tell-tale sign of low activity levels, both in the short term and in the future. Experiencing one night of poor sleep can cause a person to miss their workouts the next day. Moreover, research shows that people that have poor sleep tend to become less active physically within a year or two. One way to help you get a better night’s sleep is to replace your old mattress, read these Sealy mattress reviews.
On the other hand, people that have sufficient workout routines can sleep better and get the benefits of good sleep quality. In athletes that sleep more, it was noted that they enjoy a lower risk of illnesses and injuries. A study conducted on the Stanford University Men’s Basketball team showed that improved sleep quality led to an increase in their shooting accuracy as well as sprint times. Some of them reduced their sprint times by half and increased their three-pointer shots and free throws significantly.
When Is The Best Time To Exercise For Better Sleep?
It depends on the schedule of each individual. However, experts warn that exercising too much at night can have the opposite effect. The reason behind this is that your body’s temperature becomes lower just before you go to sleep, but with exercise, your body temperature will be raised. It is best to exercise a few hours before you go to bed.
The high body temperature and the energetic effect that you experience after exercising go away after about an hour to an hour and a half. It means that exercising at least two hours before bed is reasonable and will not interfere with the quality of your sleep. Alternatively, you can do low-to-moderate intensity workouts such as walking or yoga. These can be performed at night without making your body too energized, and therefore being able to sleep better.
High-intensity workouts such as heavy weightlifting or running can make it unpredictable when it comes to better sleep. Some individuals can fall asleep even after such rigorous exercise, while others cannot. Some may find themselves experiencing restless sleep and waking up in the middle of the night. Such workouts are best suited for earlier in the day as this gives your body enough time to cool down.
Some studies conducted have shown that people who exercise in the morning tend to fall asleep faster, compared to those that work out at night. Furthermore, evidence suggests that people who wake up early are more physically active than those who sleep late at night. If you are a night owl and wish to become an early bird or vice-versa, exercise is one good way to accomplish that. You can shift your circadian rhythm by working out in the morning if you are a night owl.
A good way to discover the best time to work out is to keep a daily exercise diary for about two weeks. Noting down the type of exercises, how long it takes you to sleep after each, and whether the sleep was restless or restful is one way to figure out what works for you.
How Much Exercise Is Suitable For Better Sleep?
Several studies show that moderate-intensity workouts for half an hour are great for improving sleep quality. No matter how long your workout is, the key to having better quality sleep through exercise is to do so regularly. If you cannot exercise for 30 minutes continuously, you can split the workouts into shorter periods.