How Exercising Regularly Can Help You Sleep Better
Many of you know exercising regularly brings many health benefits. Did you know that exercising regularly can even help you sleep better?
A study published in 2011 found that people sleep significantly better if they exercised at least 150 minutes, or two and the half hours per week. One of the study’s author, Brad Cardinal, states that:
Increasingly, the scientific evidence is encouraging as regular physical activity may serve as a non-pharmaceutical alternative to improve sleep.
Besides promoting better sleep quality, regular exercise also results in better mental alertness and awareness during the day. The study in 2011 also concluded that:
Our findings demonstrate a link between regular physical activity and perceptions of sleepiness during the day, which suggests that participation in physical activity on a regular basis may positively influence an individual’s productivity at work, or in the case of a student, influence their ability to pay attention in class.
How does this all work? Many different researches have documented that exercising lifts your mood and reduces your stress. It also strengthens your body’s circadian rhythm, promoting daytime alertness and help induce sleepiness at night. A more recent study not only shows that a regular, consistent exercise routine does contribute to improved sleep, but more importantly, it suggests that exercise may not have an immediate impact on sleep. The study suggests that it may take several weeks or months to significantly change sleep. The fact is that there are at least a dozen of studies which argue that there is a strong correlation between regular exercise and better sleep quality. You may not notice the benefits right away, but over time, you’ll start to notice that you get more rest from your sleep.
How To Incorporate Regular Exercise in Your Schedule
Many people find it difficult to squeeze in regular exercising sessions in their already busy schedules. It can be extremely challenging for those of you who have kids and are working in a full-time job. Sometimes it’ll feel like you don’t have any time except for when the weekends come, but that isn’t true.
I for one, currently work a pretty demanding full-time job but still manage to put in at least 4 hours of exercising per week. I’m actually looking to get into early morning jogging before I head to work; so it’ll be a good 5 to 6 hours of exercise per week.
There are many different forms of exercise that you can pursue. And believe me, exercising is fun! I’d say the first step is to determine what interests you. There are countless options out there in terms of getting some exercise – anything from tennis, yoga, hiking and even taking your kids out on a stroller does count as exercising.
Once you’ve figured out what interests you, try to find a group which does the same thing! Doing things in a group is always more fun and encouraging! For example, I really like ultimate frisbee and have signed up for a MeetUp group to play frisbee every Sunday. Not only do I get to meet new people, but at the same time, I’m getting exercise DOING what I want to do!
The trick is to find out what you’re passionate and interested about, and just do it!
My Experience with Exercise and Sleep Quality
I often feel like I’m ready to conquer the world right after I get some exercise done. I feel much happier and less stressed out about different things. More importantly, I feel healthier! If you didn’t know already, I’m an insomniac, and therefore I can definitely notice a difference in how quickly I sleep whenever I exercise. Whether I’m just too tired from exercising, or I’m experiencing a reduction in stress levels after working out, it is clear to me that exercising does help me get better sleep.
Don’t procrastinate! Get out there and get yourself some exercise for better sleep quality!
Categorised in: Articles