5 facts about exercise and sleep

5 facts about exercise and sleep

5 facts about exercise and sleep

If you were needing another reason to drag yourself to the gym a couple times per week, this is it. Not only does regular physical activity improve your mood by releasing endorphins but it also improves the quality of sleep that you get. 

Going for a long walk or to a spin class during the day will help you avoid any restless sensations at night when you’re trying to fall asleep. Any pent up energy that’s stored in your body can also keep you wide awake. There are few things worse than lying in bed, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, when you have a work meeting at 7 a.m. the next morning. 

For those just learning about the connection between sleep and exercise, check out these 5 interesting facts:


1) Exercising too close to bedtime can have the opposite effect

Lifting weights at the gym 30 minutes before your head hits the pillow is absolutely not a good idea. When it comes to exercising with the goal of improving your sleep quality, you want to wrap up your physical activity 90 minutes prior to going to bed. 

However, you are able to do light activities (like walking or yoga) much closer to bedtime. Vigorous activity too close to bedtime can interfere with your ability to fall asleep or even stay asleep as energy and endorphins are still flowing through your brain and body. 


2) It can help reduce sleep apnea and combat insomnia

As mentioned in our blog post on sleep apnea, regular physical activity can improve sleep apnea symptoms because excess weight is a huge risk factor when it comes to obstructive sleep apnea. Even losing a small amount of weight can have a big impact on the quality of sleep you get each night if you have sleep apnea. 

For people with insomnia, exercising in the morning has been proven to help set the body’s circadian rhythm, which controls when we stay awake and go to sleep. If you’ve got insomnia, avoid exercising in the evening as that can make your inability to fall asleep even worse.


3) A little exercise goes a long way

The chances are that your schedule is filled to the brim with work engagements and social events, leaving only a tiny amount of time for exercise. But that’s okay! You only need to perform light to moderate physical activity for 30 minutes a day to reap the health and sleep benefits. Weight-lifting and high-intensity exercise also improves sleep but should be done in the morning. 


4) Aerobic exercise is the best bet for better sleep

Aerobic exercise is any activity that improves your endurance, whereas anaerobic exercise aims to build muscle and strength. Aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, running, swimming, cycling, and even hot yoga, are the best for improving the quality of sleep you get at night. This type of exercise is also the most effective in improving insomnia. After completing 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise, your body will be able to stay in a deep sleep state for longer. 


5) Sleep gives your body time to recover after a workout

Since you’re always on the go, catching your 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night gives your body the chance to recover from everything it did that day. Within an 8 hour sleep, most people get about 1.5 to 2.5 hours of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. This is the kind of sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed and rested when you wake up in the morning. REM sleep is also important for athletes and those who stay active. 

Sleeping promotes and enhances muscle recovery through the release of hormones and protein synthesis. So don’t expect to get a beach-ready body without logging at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Sleep can also help your body heal any injuries that have occurred, which can be attributed to increased blood flow for a long period of time. 

Sleep also gives your body and mind a chance to recharge their batteries every night. Your nervous system, immune system, and mental health are also dependent on the quality and amount of sleep you get. 


Join our Facebook Group here to have discussions and get sleep hacks with like minded people suffering from snoring, sleep apnea, and mouth breathing. 

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