We can´t deny the fact that exercise has so many incredible benefits for optimal health and this includes sleep, if you want to get better sleep then make exercise part of your daily routine.
Nowadays we are more sedentary than we used to be some years ago and we do not prioritize our health, most of us live very unhealthy lifestyle created by negative habits and routines. This includes lack of exercise or physical activity.
Exercise helps you improve the quality and quantity of sleep, we´ve talked about on past posts about the internal clock of our body called the circadian rhythm and on future posts we´ll talk about our body temperature and how it fluctuates during day and night. Exercise helps keep your body in balance by increasing body temperature and keeping the circadian rhythm in balance.
The time of the day you exercise impacts the quality and quantity of sleep, if you do a high intensity workout at night then it will be harder for you to fall asleep which is not what we want so the best time to exercise in in the morning, it doesn´t matter if you go to the gym, if you exercise at home or if you go to outside; it doesn´t matter if you lift weights, if you do bodyweight exercises or if you jump rope or go for a walk; any physical activity done in the morning improves the quality and quantity of sleep. When you exercise in the morning your body temperature increases and then starts to fall, exercising in the afternoon still gives your body temperature time to fall before you go to bed.
If you can exercise outside and get sunlight you get a lot more benefits and this also improves the quality and quantity of sleep by keeping your circadian rhythm in sync.
The intensity and effort of your workouts need to be considered also, it´s not recommended to do exercise at high intensity and effort whether it´s resistance or cardio at night because it will take you so long to fall asleep and you won´t get high quality of sleep. If the only time you can exercise is at night make sure it´s moderate intensity and effort. If you can exercise in the morning then moderate to high intensity is better but always making sure that you are paying attention to proper form and avoid all injuries.
If your goal with exercise is to improve the quality and quantity of sleep then you don´t need to do long workouts, I don´t recommend more than 90 minutes of exercise actually and 90 minutes are not necessary. To improve sleep taking a 10 to 15 minutes walk is all you need to get the benefits. 30 minutes 5 days a week would be the ideal amount of time to improve sleep and also to improve your health. Starting with 10 minutes is a great way to go.
We also need to mention the exercise reduces stress and when you lower stress the quality and quantity of sleep improves, how many nights have you lied in bed ready to fall asleep but you keep thinking and worrying on everything going on with your life? From you school, grades, your job, your boss, finances, relationships? All these fears and worries increase stress and they keep you awake at night. Exercising is a great way to leave that stress out of your body and improve your mood.
When you exercise or do some physical activity you end up tired, exercise requires energy this is why when you do any new activity or go out and spend some time playing with friends, family or you have a camping day or any other outside activity that includes exercise and physical movement you feel tired and when you go to bed you fall asleep really fast. When you exercise you are using energy and this makes you tired so by the end of the day you want to rest so when you go to bed your body is prepared to get that well deserve rest giving it the opportunity to work properly.
Let me know by leaving a comment on Facebook and Twitter if you remember how you felt the last time you spent some time outside with friends or family doing any physical activity, playing a sport and having fun and if you remember how you slept that night.
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