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How Exercise Can Affect Your Sleep


Exercise can give a boost to sleep in several ways. When you are taking care of yourself, and exercising regularly, you likely notice that you are not only feeling better during the day, but sleeping better at night, too. Exercise can provide excellent benefits for sleep.

There is a substantial body of scientific evidence that exercise helps improve sleep. Making exercise part of your regular routine can contribute to healthier, more restful sleep and may help improve sleep issues such as insomnia Making time to exercise can:


Improve sleep quality :

Exercise can contribute to more sound and restful sleep. Physical activity increases time spent in deep sleep, the most physically restorative sleep phase. Deep sleep helps to boost immune function, support cardiac health, and control stress and anxiety.


Increase sleep amounts :

In addition to improving the quality of sleep, exercise also can help you increase the duration of your nightly rest. Being physically active requires you to expend energy, and helps you feel more tired and ready to rest at the end of the day. Research indicates that exercise in particular, regular exercise that is part of a consistent routine can help boost sleep duration, in addition to sleep quality.


Reduce stress and relieve anxiety :

A regular exercise routine can help to reduce your stress levels. Stress is a common cause of sleep problems, including trouble falling asleep and sleeping restlessly during the night.

Exercise is a potent remedy for anxiety and other mood disorders just 5 minutes of exercise can trigger anti-anxiety response in the body. Mind-body exercise such as yoga can help quiet the parasympathetic nervous system, which can help you relax. Research shows that mind-body exercises such as yoga and stretching can help to lower cortisol levels and reduce blood pressure, as well as having positive effects on mood.


Helps with insomnia and other sleep disorders :

Scientific evidence indicates that exercise can be an effective natural therapy for insomnia. We have a lot to learn about how exercise may help treat insomnia and other sleep disorders. Studies suggest that aerobic exercise may be particularly effective in helping reduce insomnia symptoms. Research also indicates that for people with insomnia, the benefits of exercise kick in over time, rather than immediately. Studies have also found that exercise can help lower the severity of sleep-disordered breathing and may help to reduce the severity of obstructive sleep apnea.


How much exercise is right? :

There is no one right answer to this question. It may surprise you to hear, but too much exercise can pose problems for sleep. Many people do not give it much thought, but over-training is a common problem—and can lead to sleep difficulties. In fact, one of the first symptoms of over-training is insomnia and difficulty sleeping.


When exercising, watch out for bedtime:

When it comes to the timing of exercise, all chorotypes should be aware that exercising too close to bedtime might interfere with sleep. Working out too late in the day can leave you feeling energized and stimulated right before bed, and delay your transition to sleep.

Body temperature stays elevated for about four hours after you finish exercising. A higher body temperature can interfere with your ability to sleep. What does body temperature have to do with sleep? As your body prepares itself for sleep, you experience a drop in core body temperature a drop that begins in the late afternoon.

Falling core body temperature contributes to feeling drowsy. Exercise too close to bedtime can reverse that downward shift in body temperature, and keep you awake. For all chorotypes’, it’s a good idea to avoid everything but the gentlest forms of exercise light stretching, relaxed yoga, and after-dinner strolls within 3-4 hours of bedtime. Get out for a jog, cycle around your neighborhood, hit the gym for some weight training or a cardio session on the treadmill. Every bit of exercise you commit can help you feel better during the day and sleep better at night.


Sweet Dreams.


Author :

Meera Geo, Clinical Psychologist [ M.Sc. Clinical Psychology] Meera Geo, a Post Graduate in Clinical Psychology, is Highly driven to understand the complexities of the human mind and to assist individuals experiencing psychological distress to reach optimal levels of overall wellbeing and increase their quality of life. She has assisted several individuals with a wide variety of psychological conditions by using a Cognitive Behavioral Approach to therapy.

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