A good night's sleep boosts productivity, mood, and overall health. Sadly, over 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep-related issues. Lack of adequate sleep can lead to many health problems, from weight gain to heart disease.
Various factors cause an individual to have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at night, such as stress and anxiety, pain, and chronic diseases. While there is no single solution that will work for everyone, exercise can be a powerful tool in helping people achieve a good night's sleep.
Moderate, consistent aerobic and other forms of exercise can help you fall asleep faster and sleep for long. It's also easier to work out after a good night's sleep. According to Health.com, you also need a medium-firm mattress that supports spinal alignment and promotes pressure relief. How does exercise help you sleep better?
Exercise Increases Your Sleep Drive
After an exercise routine, you get exhausted, increasing your body's need for rest. You're more likely to have a restful night when you're tired than when you've been on your couch watching TV the entire day. Exhaustion slows down your body's central nervous system, allowing your sleeping hours to be restful and uninterrupted.
Exercise Keeps Sleep Apnea Away
Although you may not feel like moving the following day after a workout because you're so sore from all that exertion, it can help eliminate many sleep-disturbing symptoms such as sleep apnea, obesity, and insomnia.
However, you should check with your doctor before starting any exercise program as it may not be safe for all people due to existing injuries, physical limitations, and medical conditions. Sleep apnea improves when you lose weight.
Exercise Reduces Stress Levels
Part of the reason many people stay awake at night is the result of too much stress. Exercise can reduce your stress levels by promoting the release of endorphins, the "feel-good hormones." The hormones not only improve mood but also alleviate pain as well as helping you relax. You'll get to fall asleep quickly and sleep longer hours which also improves your mood.
Exercise Increases the Amount of Time You Spend in Slow Wave Sleep
Thirty minutes of regular exercise can increase the amount of time you spend in slow-wave sleep. The sleep stage is also known as deep sleep and allows your body to rest and rejuvenate fully.
Slow-wave sleep is the most beneficial phase of sleep because it helps with memory and learning and boosts your immune system. It also controls weight, increases energy during the day, and ensures a good night's sleep.
The human growth hormone releases during this sleep stage. It helps your body recover and rejuvenate muscles, organs, and tissues.
It's essential to understand how much exercise you'll need to get the sleep benefits of an exercise routine. You can start with 20 minutes of aerobic exercise 6 times a week. Make sure it's at a moderate intensity level where you're breathing heavier than usual but still able to talk while working out.
Gradually, increase your workout to 30 minutes a day for at least five days every week. Exercise increases your level of physical fitness and overall health, which is why you should make it part of your daily routine.
Walking, running, swimming, cycling, and dancing are all beneficial forms of exercise. You can also try yoga or Pilates, which are low-impact exercises that don't work out significant muscle groups at the same time to prevent injuries.
For a start, even regular household chores like vacuuming or taking out the garbage are examples of simple exercises that you can do on a daily schedule to get your body active.
The best time to exercise is in the morning or afternoon before dinner. Exercise increases your body temperature, alertness, muscle tension, and blood flow, making you stay awake longer.
If you don't get enough sleep after your workout, you may end up feeling exhausted and fall asleep at inappropriate times. You might find yourself sleeping during lunch breaks at work or while driving.
Rather than working out before bedtime, try exercising in the morning or afternoon to improve your sleep drive. Working out too late at night will affect the quality of deep sleep and cause you to wake up in the middle of the night or early morning.
The number of hours of sleep you need depends on several factors such as age, level of activity, and general health condition. The average person needs around 8 hours of sleep every night to stay healthy and active during the day.
To sleep better, you first need to work towards a healthier lifestyle with regular exercise. Not only will this help improve your fitness level, but it will also reduce stress levels because you'll feel more relaxed after a workout routine. Exercise will also help you sleep better at night by increasing serotonin which helps relax your muscles and mind.