05 Aug Sleep and Exercise
Exercise promotes sleep
Want to fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more rested? As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can dramatically improve the quality of your night time sleep, especially when done on a regular basis. What’s more, exercisers may reduce their risk of developing sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
What’s The Exercise/Sleep Connection?
Physical activity improves sleep quality and increases sleep duration. Exercise may also help sleep in other ways, because it reduces stress and tires you out. Early morning and afternoon exercise may also help reset the sleep wake cycle by raising body temperature slightly, then allowing it to drop and trigger sleepiness a few hours later. Outdoor exercise also helps your body connect to the day/night cycle as your body absorbs natural sunlight during the daytime.
Timing It Right
It used to be thought that working out vigorously too close to bedtime may over-stimulate the body. It turns out that it depends on the individual. So if you find that physical activity in the evening revs you up too much, do it earlier in the day.
A recent study has demonstrated people sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. The study in the December 2018 Journal Mental Health and Physical Activity found 35 to 40% of the population have problems with falling asleep or with daytime sleepiness
A sample of more than 2,600 men and women, ages 18-85, found 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week (the national guideline), improved sleep quality by 65%. People also said they felt less sleepy during the day, compared to those with less physical activity.
“We were using the physical activity guidelines for cardiovascular health, but it appears that those guidelines might have a spillover effect to other areas of health,” said Brad Cardinal, a professor of exercise science at Oregon State University and one of the study’s authors.
“Increasingly, the scientific evidence is encouraging as regular physical activity may serve as a non-pharmaceutical alternative to improve sleep.”
Physical activity may not just be good for the waistline and heart, but it also can help you sleep,” Cardinal said. “There are trade-offs. It may be easier when you are tired to skip the workout and go to sleep, but it may be beneficial for your long-term health to make the harder decision and exercise.”
Our practitioners at Brighton Spine and Sports Clinic can not only provide you with tips to improve your sleep quality but also can help you start exercising again. Speak to our reception team for more information.