We all know by now that sleeping and exercise are good for us, but just how do they relate to one another?
It turns out, exercise is a key factor in improving sleep quality. In a 2013 survey conducted by The National Sleep Foundation, “Self-described exercisers report better sleep than self-described non-exercisers even though they say they sleep the same amount each night.”
According to Sleep.org, as little as 10 minutes of aerobic activity a day can improve the quality of your sleep.
Exercise helps to reduce stress and can tire you out, but you might want to think twice before exercising too late at night. When you exercise, your body temperature increases. So after exercising, your body temperature decreases which can induce sleep. But if you try to go to bed too quickly after exercising, usually within an hour and a half, your heart rate and temperature could still be up, which often makes it difficult to fall and stay asleep. Everyone is unique, so if you find that exercise before bed does not affect your sleep, then drop and give me 20!
Always make sure to do cool down stretches after exercising as this can help relax you and make it easier to fall asleep.
While exercise certainly affects sleep, the results may not be felt immediately. In many studies, it took weeks, sometime even months, before exercisers reported better sleep.
While exercise’s effect on sleep is not immediate, the effects of sleep on exercise are. Sleep and exercise have a two way relationship; not getting a good night’s sleep can negatively impact your workout the following day.
The bottom line is that exercise is just as important as sleep in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. So stick with it!