Want a Better Night’s Sleep? Exercise More.
It’s a myth that exercise keeps you awake. A recent study of 1,000 people revealed that the more active a person is, the better he or she sleeps. The results are staggering, considering that 83 percent of people who work out regularly also report sleeping well, compared to 56 percent of people who do not work out regularly. Why is the difference so vast and what can you do about it?
It’s no surprise that sitting at a computer all day means that bodies aren’t being challenged. Your body doesn’t think it needs much rest when it’s basically been resting all day. However, if you stay active, your body will more naturally crave those precious sleeping hours you need.
Skip the Sleeping Pills
The study also revealed that twice as many sedentary people take sleep aids as compared to more active people. This can be a vicious cycle and some sleep aids have addictive qualities. Instead of reaching for the pills, try your best to squeeze in some kind of workout most days.
Try exercising in the morning, afternoon and evening and make note of what time works best for your sleeping habits. The release of endorphins following intense exercisecan indeed boost energy, although it’s not the same thing as chugging a Red Bull.
Making it Work
You’re busy. Prioritizing a workout over professional obligations and family time sometimes seems impossible. Nevertheless, the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of regular exercise are impossible to ignore. Exercise’s mood- and brain-boosting benefits will likely make you a more valuable employee, parent and more.
Consider the downside to a lack of sleep. Not sleeping enough hours is linked to a host of diseases and side effects ranging from cardiovascular disorders to anxiety. The simple fact is that your body needs sleep. On average, most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene and habits, including exercising regularly, to make the most of your health.
The Basics of Sleep Hygiene
While exercise won’t negatively impact your sleep right before bed, other activities will. Don’t get caught up in the “click here” ads while you surf the Internet into the wee hours. Avoid any screen, from the TV to the laptop, at least three hours before bed. Stop taking caffeine in the early afternoon and opt for a lighter dinner and a heavier breakfast and lunch.
Some people swear by spritzing or applying lavender on their sheets and pillows before bed; the scent of lavender encourages relaxation, so it’s certainly worth a try. Everyone has the same hours in the day, so spend yours wisely. Make sure there’s plenty of time for both sleep and exercise in there to lead a healthier, happier life.
Not Sure Where to Start?
Here are a few exercise programs that have worked well for many people who are new to exercise.
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