Exercise and sleep aren’t just connected in the way that both are required for a healthy lifestyle, but they actually play a role in the both of their benefits. Have you ever tried working out on no sleep? You probably didn’t have much success.
If you’re someone who exercises regularly, you can vouch for how much better your sleep is after a long day that included exercise. Exercise and sleep are just as important as a healthy diet. Here is how they go hand in hand.
Exercise affects your sleep in many positive ways. Not only does is increase your sleep quality, but it also increases your amount of sleep and helps reduce stress and relieve anxiety.
While the National Institute of Health along with the American Heart Association suggests that you get a minimum of 150 hours of exercise per week, getting more is even better. People who exercise at minimum 30 minutes per day experience the benefits of exercise on their sleep.
You can adjust your workout routine to optimize your sleeping goals and vice versa. For example, if you find yourself waking up pretty often in the middle of the night, try going for a long jog during the day.
If you’re an athlete in training and need to perform intervals of high intensity, this should be done at least 3 hours prior to going to sleep.
Strenuous exercise too close to bedtime can actually have a negative impact on your sleep quality.
Watching out for bedtime is key in maximizing the benefits of sleep and exercise. After you workout, your body temperature stays elevated for a period of time after exercising. When you get ready for sleep however, your body temperature dips, helping you feel drowsy.
Sleeping during this time counteracts the natural process that your body goes through, in turn keeping you feeling more awake and alert than you would probably like when you’re trying to fall asleep.
If however, you’re exercising regularly in the morning or mid-day, you’re bound to see results when it comes to mood, stress, alertness, and overall contentment with your sleep.
A study cited on Psychology Today confirmed that regular exercise does contribute to better sleep, but that it doesn’t have an immediate effect. The study showed that in order to reap the benefits of exercise on our sleep, we have to be consistent over weeks or even months.
Sleep however does affect exercise in the short-term.
As discussed before, it’s very hard to get in a good workout when you’re struggling to stay awake. This is exactly why athletes make sure they get a good nights sleep the entire week leading up to a match or game.
Both exercise and healthy sleeping habits is key to a healthy lifestyle. Not only do they affect each other, but they also play a role in reducing blood pressure, lowering cortisol levels, and even managing your weight, in fact, are countless benefits to both sleep and exercise!
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