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5 Ways Exercise Helps Improve Your Sleep

Posted by Melissa Bamberg on

Exercise Helps Improve Your Sleep

One of the most common excuses people give for why they don’t exercise is that they are too tired. But it might surprise you to learn that this presents a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg problem. Do you not exercise because you’re too tired, or are you tired because you don’t exercise? Science has proven that, in addition to all the common health benefits that most people know about, such as stress reduction and cardiovascular health, exercise helps people sleep better.

5 Ways Exercise Improves Your Sleep

There are a number of different sleep benefits that people who participate in regular cardiovascular exercise seem to experience. People who exercise regularly:

  • Fall asleep more easily
  • Sleep about 45 minutes longer
  • Wake up during the night less often
  • Have stronger circadian rhythms
  • Report more energy during the day

The Science of Sleep

The relationship between sleep and exercise is complex, so there are a number of different mechanisms through which exercise improves sleep. For example, while any exercise is likely to make you feel more energetic throughout the day, scientists have discovered that cardiovascular exercise in the afternoon or early evening has the most benefit on sleep. One reason for this is that cardiovascular exercise raises your body temperature. After exercising, your body then gradually cools down. This cooldown seems to be a natural trigger for sleep. It’s not recommended that you exercise just before you plan to put on your eye mask for sleeping and go bed, however, because this can leave you feeling wired and unable to sleep. Another reason people who exercise fall asleep more easily is that exercise suppresses physiological stress symptoms that can make it difficult to fall asleep.

The benefits of exercise continue once you have fallen asleep. By recording people’s brain waves as they sleep, scientists have discovered that regular exercisers spend more of their time asleep in a sleep stage called slow wave sleep. This is the deepest and most restorative type of sleep, and may help explain the greater alertness and energy that exercisers feel during the day.

Exercise Helps Improve Your Sleep

Sleep and Exercise Have a Long Term Relationship

One thing that doctors and scientists have discovered about the relationship between exercise and sleep in the last few years is that exercise isn’t a quick fix for sleep problems. While some people feel the sleep benefits of exercise right away, others, particularly those who have insomnia or other sleep disorders, need as much as four months of consistent exercise to see major benefit. Doctors say that the sleep benefits are worth the patience, however, so put on your eye mask for sleeping and tough it out until your body adjusts to the exercise regimen.

Whether you’re already getting the sleep benefits of exercise or not, an eye mask for sleeping from nodpod can help you sleep better with gently weighted beads that promote the release of natural levels of melatonin and serotonin, as well as blocking out that early morning sun. Order eye mask for sleeping better today and start getting a good night’s sleep right away.