Exercise and Sleep – Workout To Sleep Better at Night

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One of the most annoying things I’ve experienced is not getting a good night’s sleep. You just lie there, staring at the ceiling. Most of the time, you have thoughts racing through your head about your day or why you can’t fall asleep. They don’t happen often to me, but they happen.

One thing that I’ve noticed when I start having nights where I’m up for long periods of time is that I haven’t been exercising that much lately. I spend too much time in front of the computer and lounging around in front of the TV. My days are spent focusing on mindless junk.

If this sounds like you from time to time, I may have a solution for you. It’s called EXERCISE! Physical activity, or exercise, is one of the best ways to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep. You see, the more active you are during the day, the more likely you’ll be totally spent by bedtime. In fact, the more you exercise, the more the quality of your sleep will improve. This will even allow you to keep a more consistent sleep schedule, leaving you refreshed and energetic.

We all face the stress of daily life and one of the best ways to alleviate stress is to exercise. So get this, if you alleviate the stress you’re experiencing, you’ll feel more relaxed. But hold on, if you feel more relaxed, you’ll be able to sleep better. If only rocket science were this simple.

Research and studies indicate that there is a direct correlation between how much we exercise and how we feel afterwards. So it’s no wonder that people who keep a regular exercise routine feel more relaxed during their day, and are getting more rest at night.

You probably wouldn’t be reading for this if you weren’t into exercising or finding new tips on exercising, but the goal of this article is to hopefully encourage you to exercise more, so that you can improve your sleep patterns. I’m not going to sugar coat this for you. If you exercise during the day, you’re less likely to have all kinds of excess energy at night, therefore you’ll be ready for bed.

I’ll also note that our bodies need a certain amount of exercise to stay functioning properly and in a healthy manner. In saying that, there is one thing you should keep in mind when it comes to exercise and sleep. You should schedule in your exercise so that your session ends at least 3 hours before you plan on going to bed. I don’t want to be left to blame if you go out there and start pumping iron at 8pm and plan on going to bed at 9pm.

exercise-sleepExercising provides us with a certain amount of energy as well. I know that after I play a game of hockey and go home, there’s no way I can fall asleep right away. So make sure to be smart about scheduling in your exercise sessions.

The ideal time for myself has always been in the late afternoon, right after work. It’s a great time for me to focus on something healthy and let the stress of my day melt off me. By the time bedtime rolls around, I’m ready to hit the hay. I realize everyone reading this doesn’t have an 8 to 4 work schedule, so I’ll leave it up to you to figure out what time is best for you to workout.

It’s also important to note that there’s all kinds of forms of exercise you can do. You don’t have to just stick to going to the gym, lifting weights or running on the treadmill. We live on a beautiful planet that deserves to be appreciated, so why not head outside for a walk or a run.

You should plan on exercising at least 30 minutes a day for 4 days out of the week. It’s important that you don’t overdo it though if you’re just starting. When people start exercise programs and go all out from the get go, they’re more than likely to stop their program when they see how hard it is. Work your way up to a regular routine at a comfortable pace and you’ll be more than likely to stick to it.

When we do exercises like walking and running, we’re strengthening the capacity of our lungs and it increases our heart rates. By doing this, we’re improving our overall health and actually helping us keep emotionally healthy as well. I don’t know about you, but when my emotions are in check, I sleep like a baby.

There are plenty of other things you can do to get your daily exercise in besides walking and running as well. Like I said before, going to the gym to lift some weights can help you increase strength and lose fat. I’m not even going to get into the health benefits of having muscle and not much fat on our bodies. You can also join a team to play sports, play outside with your kids or pets, or stay inside and do some bodyweight exercises like pushups. But if you’re really battling to get to sleep, you’ll probably find aerobic exercise like walking and running to be the best.

When we exercise aerobically, we’re looking to increase the amount of oxygen that gets into our bloodstream. More oxygen to our bloodstream means more nutrients being delivered to our organs, which helps us function healthier overall. Some types of aerobic exercise you can choose from are running, walking, using a treadmill, riding your bike, dancing, or jumping rope.

Now you also may find that aerobic activity doesn’t do the job to help you sleep. There’s also many anaerobic types of exercises that you may find beneficial. Yoga has a way of stimulating the brain. It uses breathing techniques and different poses to help increase blood circulation to the brain. Having increased blood circulating to the brain will definitely help promote relaxing, restful and regular sleep patterns. Yoga is amazing for relieving stress, improving strength and getting rid of any unwanted tension.

Now when it comes to making time for your workout, there really shouldn’t be any excuses. Everyone has busy schedules, but the difference between active people and inactive people are that the active people MAKE time to exercise. But if you’re really stubborn about making time, make sure to try doing the little things like taking the stairs, parking far away from the building you’re going to so you have to walk farther, or just ride your bike to work instead of taking a vehicle. These little things, if done consistently over time, will do wonders for your body and health.

So the goal here is for you to start getting some exercise into your day if you’re lacking in sleep. It’s proven by science that exercise will help you sleep better at night. So do yourself a favor. Exercise regularly and you’ll find yourself getting all the sleep you need.

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About Author

Conor Doherty

I'm a certified athletic trainer with Canada Fitness Professionals. Living in Northwestern Ontario, hockey is king, so 95% of my clients are hockey players. I also specialize in youth fitness and I train kids between 10 and 16 years old. See my profile page for more information!

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