Last month I talked about ways nutrients can improve sleep quality. Did you know that exercise plays an important factor too? Many things can affect sleep quality, for better and for worse. Exercise being on the side for better. You may be asking, why should I know how to obtain better sleep quality? Well, many people have trouble falling asleep at night. For some it may be a chronic issue, for other it may be an occasional problem. Inadequate sleep quality can have a negative impact on your energy levels throughout the day, emotional balance, and weight maintenance.
Why Does Exercise Improve Sleep?
There is solid evidence that exercise does help you fall asleep more quickly and improves sleep quality. There is not enough evidence yet to determine the best time of day to exercise in order to reap these health benefits. Because of this, it is important to listen to your body to see how well you sleep in response to when you work out.
There are two biological reasons that exercising right before bed might keep you awake:
Aerobic exercise causes the body to release endorphins, which can create a level of brain activity that keeps some people awake. These people should exercise at least 1-2 hours before going to bed, allowing the endorphins time to move through their system and allow the brain to calm down.
Exercise raises core body temperature. This elevation in core body temperature signals the body’s clock that it isn’t bed time. After about 30-90 minutes, core body temperature begins to decrease, and this decrease helps to facilitate sleepiness.
Even given these biological reasons, some people do not see a difference in working out earlier in the day or at night. It does not matter when you work out, you will still benefit in your sleep quality.
When Will I Notice My Sleep Quality Improving?
Fortunately, you won’t need to wait long to notice the benefits of working out for better sleep. By performing at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, you may see a difference in sleep quality same day. It is important to know that picking an exercise you like will help you stick with it for longer. The research focuses on the benefits of aerobic activity (running, swimming, etc.) and sleep. However, if you enjoy lifting heavy weights or doing active yoga, you will still elevate your heart rate and experience the same biological responses as aerobic exercise.
The Bottom Line
Performing at least 30 minutes of exercise in the day may help you sleep better later that night. Choose a form of exercise that you enjoy! Consider journaling if time of day affects your ability to achieve adequate sleep, it may or may not make a difference.
Book your free 10-minute consultation with me to learn more about how exercise can help improve your sleep!