The Connection between Sleep and Exercise
Everyone knows how important exercise is to a healthy lifestyle. When we work our muscles, they stay strong and flexible. Aerobic activity works our hearts, our lungs, and burns calories. There is no question that a healthy lifestyle includes a daily dose of exercise. But did you know that hitting the gym or taking the dog for a walk can also help you get the sleep you need? According to The National Sleep Foundation, physical activity is an important part of safeguarding a good night’s sleep.
The amount of physical exercise that you exert during the day is one of the key ingredients to helping you sleep better at night. The more active your body is during the day, the more likely you are to relax at night and fall asleep faster. Sleep is also where virtually all of the benefits of exercise are realized. Exercise helps you sleep better, and sleep maximizes the benefits derived from exercise.
The majority of experts agree that exercise can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep all night. The main disagreement in this area seems to be around when you should exercise for the most positive impact on your sleep. Some people believe that working out right before going to bed wears them out and helps them fall asleep faster.
Others feel that exercising in the morning is the only way to go. There are also people who believe that exercising later in the day boosts your adrenaline, gets your blood pumping and keeps you from falling asleep. On this topic, even the experts have differing opinions, but most believe that exercising in the morning and late afternoon can improve the quality of your sleep.
By keeping up your physical activity during the day, you may also find it easier to deal with the stress and worries you may have in your life. More and more research indicates that there is a direct correlation between how much we exercise and how we feel afterwards. If you increase your physical activity during the day, there is a good chance that you will experience a deeper, more restful sleep.
Aerobic exercise seems to be the best if you are battling sleep. The goal of aerobic exercise is to increase the amount of oxygen that reaches your blood stream. There are many types of aerobic exercises that you can choose from during the summer months including running, biking, and swimming. A great indoor aerobic exercise is raquetball, it’s hard to get a better all around workout than that.
Good sleep is a pattern of behavior that starts with getting the right amount of sleep each night on a bed that fits your lifestyle. This pattern includes things like waking up and going to bed at the same time each day, and following the same bedtime routine each night.
Exercise is an important component of a solid sleep routine and the experts all agree that as long as you do it consistently, it can help you fall asleep and stay asleep all night long.