We’ve discussed the physical and mental health benefits of exercise and healthy eating extensively on this blog, along with the fact that physical activity promotes better sleep. However, many people are unaware of the fact that exercising at the right time is critical if you’re looking to reap the benefits of better sleep.
Let’s take a look at how exercise affects sleep:
Exercise Promotes Better Sleep
A survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that exercisers slept better than non-exercisers in general. Additionally, vigorous exercises lead to the best sleep outcomes among all categories, as this group was twice as likely to report good sleep. A good workout tires your body, ensuring better sleep, so this makes a lot of sense.
Timing of Sleep Matters
Getting the timing of your workout right is critical. Most experts agree that exercising during the first half of the day is the best way to reap the full benefits of the activity. There are two reasons why:
- Aerobic activity causes a rush of endorphins.The chemicals secreted by the brain are responsible for the feelings of happiness and euphoria you get after a workout. They also keep the brain active, which makes it difficult to sleep, so it’s best not to engage in any strenuous physical activity at least 1-2 hours before bed.
- Exercise raises core body temperature. Exercise raises core body temperature, which once again makes it difficult to fall asleep. A low body temperature before bed is essential to promote sleepiness.
How Much Exercise Do You Need?
If you’re looking to improve sleep quality, the good news is that 30 minutes of moderate exercise should show immediate results. You won’t have to wait weeks for results making it easy to stick with the program. Better sleep also affects the quality of life as it can enhance energy levels, productivity, alertness, and cognition.
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