Home > Lifestyle & Sleep > Exercise For Sleep

Exercise For Sleep

By: Wendy Jacob - Updated: 25 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Aerobic Exercise Commitment To Sleep

Exercise is important for a healthy life. Having a healthy body and a relaxed mind will increase your chances of being able to fall asleep and gain the benefits of a good night's sleep. Not only will exercise reduce the risk of premature death from heart disease and other diseases, it will also help keep your joints bones and muscles strong and healthy. Exercise also affects mood and a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of Depression, which can affect your ability to sleep.

Too Tired to Exercise

Many poor sleepers report feeling too tired to exercise during the day, and lack of sleep increases the risk of obesity. Research has shown that obesity is related to sleep loss and may be contribute towards poor eating habits. Obesity, joint pain, muscle spasms and high blood pressure are just a few of the conditions that will affect your ability to fall and stay asleep. Most of us have experienced a sleepless night caused by a cough or a cold, or a sore foot. While pain and discomfort will make it difficult to fall asleep, tired muscles should make it easier to relax.

Stimulating the Mind

Exercise stimulates the body and the mind. The ‘high’ that many people feel after exercising will give you renewed energy and a feeling of wellbeing. Increased blood flow and oxygen in the body affects the central nervous system. The mind is also affected by the release of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and norepinephrine. It is believed that these endorphins, which are produced by the brain and the pituitary gland, are the reason we feel good after exercise.

Time to Exercise for Sleep

However, although you may feel physically relaxed, the mind will take longer to relax. So exercising too close to bedtime may make it harder to fall asleep. Therefore, try to exercise earlier in the day. Exercise in the morning is a great way to start the day. This may be difficult, especially after a poor night's sleep, but the benefits of a boost in energy and feeling alert will help you get through the day.

Find a time which you can fit in on a regular basis. If you can only exercise in the evening, try to do this as early as possible. Remember, eating can also affect your ability to sleep so an evening in the gym followed by a large meal will leave you tossing and turning at bedtime.

Types of Exercise for Sleep

The physical benefits that will help you sleep include weight loss, Stress Reduction, improved cardiovascular functioning and increased joint mobility. A combination of aerobic exercise that will get the heart and lungs working, and stretching, that will help you relax, is ideal.

Committing to Sleep

The health benefits of exercise and improved sleep are a long-term commitment. Although many notice an almost immediate improvement in their feeling of wellbeing and their ability to sleep, commitment is essential.

This means it is important to fit exercise into your life on a regular basis. It is recommended that aerobic exercise is included at least 2-3 times a week, and 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise will give you the health benefits that will make a difference to your life. Exercise in the fresh air is particularly beneficial and a daily walk will improve your fitness and calm the mind.

Make sure you find something you enjoy doing. Many find gyms and health clubs have all the facilities that will help them get fit. The opportunity to meet people and try new classes and different sports can help keep you motivated. For others, individual activities such as running or cycling may be more enjoyable and easier to fit into a busy life.

Whatever you chose, and however quickly you feel the benefits, it is important to keep going. We need to sleep every night for the rest of our lives, so it is important to try to get the best night's sleep possible. Making time to exercise is one way to increase our chances of a good night's sleep.

Always check with your GP before starting a new exercise programme.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Lizzy Lu
    Re: Dehydration and Insomnia
    I suffer from pulmonary aspiration and can only handle about a cup of liquids per day. I have been chronically dehydrated since March,…
    28 July 2017
  • princess baby saedie
    Re: Feeling Too Cold to Sleep
    At night I can't sleep. I look up somuch stuff to help. I just got out of a brace about a week ago from spraining my ankle. I've…
    27 July 2017
  • Joiseyg
    Re: Dehydration and Insomnia
    Being dehydrated makes me feel exhausted so I usually drink water when I'm at that point. I drink 40-60 oz a day and have had a hard…
    10 September 2016
  • Insomniacs
    Re: Sleeping Pills - Addiction and Withdrawal
    Mary - Your Question:I was diagnosed with an Auto Immune disease in 2005 and was placed on large doses of…
    7 September 2016
  • Mary
    Re: Sleeping Pills - Addiction and Withdrawal
    I was diagnosed with an Auto Immune disease in 2005 and was placed on large doses of Prednisone, along with other…
    7 September 2016
  • Insomniacs
    Re: Sleeping Pills - Addiction and Withdrawal
    Twisty - Your Question:I have been taking zoplicone for almost. 3 yrs and want to stop how do withdraw from the…
    23 August 2016
  • Twisty
    Re: Sleeping Pills - Addiction and Withdrawal
    I have been taking zoplicone for almost. 3 yrs and want to stop how do withdraw from the pills in a safe and…
    22 August 2016
  • Insomniacs
    Re: A Holistic Approach to Insomnia
    Foggy - Your Question:Hi I need some serious help please. I have not slept now at all in nearly 3 weeks. I realised I had…
    8 August 2016
  • Foggy
    Re: A Holistic Approach to Insomnia
    hi I need some serious help please. I have not slept now at all in nearly 3 weeks. I realised I had sleep problems and so…
    7 August 2016
  • sucker
    Re: Dehydration and Insomnia
    I have been without much water for 3 days now. And now I can't sleep very well. I am able to fall asleep but wake up dozens of times a…
    12 June 2016
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the Insomniacs website. Please read our Disclaimer.