It is no surprise that sleep affects our overall health and wellbeing and many different aspects of our lives that go into how well we sleep at night. One them being exercise. A 2013 poll done by the National Sleep Foundation revealed just how exercise helped people in America sleep better. People who said they exercised reported better sleep than those who said they do not exercise. Non-exercisers are the sleepiest and are at the highest risk of suffering from sleep apnea. Less time sitting was associated with better sleep and health.
So what is the exercise/sleep connection? Studies show that physical activity improves sleep quality and increases sleep duration because it reduces stress and tires you out. Also early morning and afternoon exercise may help reset the sleep wake cycle by raising body temperature a slight amount and then allowing it to drop and trigger sleepiness a few hours later. Exercising outdoors allows your body to absorb natural sunlight as well.
So how much exercise do you need to get for a better night’s sleep? Charlene Gamaldo, M.D., medical director of John Hopkins Center for Sleep suggests that people who engage in at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise might see a difference in sleep quality. However, she suggests that a person needs to pick an exercise they like to help them stick with it.
So if you’re looking to sleep better and improve your overall health consider exercising to improve your sleep.
“5 Facts About Sleep and Exercise.” National Sleep Foundation. 31 Jan. 2019 <https://www.sleepfoundation.org/5-facts-about-sleep-and-exercise>.
“How Exercise Affects Sleep.” Sleep.Org. Sleep.Org. 31 Jan. 2019 <https://www.sleep.org/articles/exercise-affects-sleep/>.
“Sleep Better.” Is There Really Any Benefit to Multivitamins? 31 Jan. 2019 <https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy-sleep/sleep-better/exercising-for-better-sleep>.