Sleep isn’t really your bff? Well, don’t worry! A large number of people suffer from restless night and there can be a number of reasons for that. One of the biggest reasons can be the lack of exercise. To get some shut-eye you need to move that body and get your heart thumping. That’s right! Researchers have proved that exercising is an essential aspect that you should be focussing on when it comes to your sleep.
So how exactly are sleep and exercise interrelated?
There are a number of ways exercise can put you to sleep. Exercising exhausts your body, it needs rest and it needs to recover, this automatically activates your sleep receptors and pushes you into a serene slumber. One of the main reasons you cannot fall asleep easily is that your mind is not at rest. It is anxious and stressed out. When you exercise you relieve this stress both physically as well as mentally. A hormone called cortisol that makes you put on weight is released when you exercise. The loss of this hormone is what helps you snooze. Research suggests that people who exercise sleep 1.2 hours more than those you don’t. They also wake up fresh in the morning and are ready to take up daily tasks without hesitation.
A regular sleep cycle is a result of numerous factors and exercise is a crucial part of it. Not many of us know this by there are 3 types of sleep
1) Slow Wave sleep. This kind sleep is absolutely necessary for your body to repair and maintain itself
2) The second type of sleep is Rapid eye Movement (REM) sleep. Nights filled with dreams and nightmares is included in this kind of sleep.
3) The third type of sleep is N2 sleep. This includes more than half of our overall sleep time.
Studies proved that exercising increases slow wave sleep time, decreased REM sleep time and showed a great improvement in the overall N2 sleep.
What are the kinds of exercises you should do to fall asleep?
You can pick your kind of exercise. Unlike before today, there are a number of exercises that are available out there. You can hit the gym, join a dance fitness class, go for aerobics, try swimming, do a few quick sit-ups, crunches or lunges. You can also join a sport like a tennis, badminton or basketball. Choose an exercise you like and stick to it. Yes, that’s the next point I am getting too. You need to most definitely stick to it
Now that you have picked the exercise of your choice you need start being consistent. Don’t exercise for a day and expect yourself to fall asleep easily that night. It takes a while for exercise to affect your sleep cycle. Research suggests it takes at least 16 weeks for exercise to help you fall asleep. So make sure you consistently exercise for those weeks.
When should I exercise?
Although studies suggest that you should exercise first thing in the morning or in the afternoon it is not entirely true. There are a number of people who exercise post work and are able to get a good night’s sleep just make sure you exercise at least an hour before bedtime.
So there, now you have no more excuses to give. Even if you are not a morning or even an afternoon workout person, you can most definitely move those muscles at night.
Exercise is as it is good for you, so you are not really losing anything by pushing yourself to spend at least 30 minutes a day on something that will help you in the long run. And look at it this way, you don’t just sleep well thanks to exercising you will also start looking great.