5 Ways How Exercise Affects Your Sleep
Want to fall asleep better and feel more rested? Start moving. In the United States, about 35 to 40% of the adult population has problems with falling asleep or experiencing daytime sleepiness, according to an article published by the Oregon State University.
Experts say that sleeping, along with proper nutrition and a good exercise routine, is important in maintaining a good health. Experts say that low physical activity levels contribute to poor sleep.
In this article, we explore how exercise contributes to sleep quality and quantity.
Increases the Quantity of Sleep
Exercise can help you increase the duration of your sleep. Being physically active requires you to expend your energy. It helps you to feel more tired and ready to rest before the day ends, increasing the duration of your sleep at night.
Improves the Quality of Sleep
Regular exercise does not only help to improve the quantity but also the quality of your sleep. The Sleep in America poll of the National Sleep Foundation found that people who regularly exercise slept better compared with people who are not physically active even if they sleep the same amount every night. With regular exercise, you might get to enjoy the pleasure of sleeping like a baby.
Helps Chronic Insomnia
Chronic insomnia is the difficulty initiating or maintaining your sleep. It is a common sleep disorder in adults. You either wake up too early in the morning or have a non-restorative sleep.
A study published in 2010 conducted an experiment for 16 weeks with a small group of women and one man who received diagnoses of insomnia. Because of exercise routines, the people with insomnia slept more soundly. Doing physical activities may help people suffering from chronic insomnia to experience improved sleep.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Having a regular exercise routine can help reduce the levels of your stress and anxiety. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America survey, seven out of ten adults in the United States say that they are experiencing stress and anxiety every day.
Stress is a common cause of sleep problems which include sleeping restlessly and trouble to fall asleep during the night. Mind and body exercises like yoga can help quiet your parasympathetic nervous system that makes you feel more relaxed. A study shows that yoga helps to lower your cortisol level. Exercising helps reduce your blood pressure and brings positive effects on your mood that can possibly alleviate anxiety.
Decreases Sleep Apnea Risk
Being physically active is important in maintaining your weight. If you are overweight or obese, it increases your risk of developing chronic diseases such as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea poses a long-term negative impact on anyone’s health. It is a common disorder that involves dysfunction of breathing while you sleep. The breathing pauses can prevent you from getting restorative sleep and may make you feel tired even if you had 7 – 9 hours of sleep.
If you have sleep apnea, losing a few pounds by doing physical activities can help improve your sleep. Activities such as swimming and aerobics can be cures for sleep apnea without CPAP as they help increase your lung capacity and improve your breathing.
How much exercise do you need? There is no right answer to this. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends doing at least 150 minutes of exercising in a week. That means being physically active for at least 30 minutes a day, five days of your week.
Go out for a jog or hit the gym to do cardio sessions or some weight training. Every bit of exercise that you do can help you in feeling better during the day and sleeping better at night.