Exercise Can Contribute to Good Sleep Hygiene
Whether it is a Johns Hopkins Medicine study that indicates that proper exercise can alleviate sleep-related problems and help you get an adequate amount of rest, or a Sleep Foundation study that suggests insufficient or poor-quality sleep can lead to lower levels of physical activity the following day, exercise and sleep are not mutually exclusive.
While most people do not contest the connection, there is an ongoing debate about the proper timing of workouts, so they help, but do not interrupt your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Here is what we know.
How Does Exercise Impact Sleep?
The benefits of exercise are far reaching and can include a lower risk of diseases like cancer and diabetes, improved physical function, and a higher quality of life.
Exercising also improves sleep for many people.
Moderate-to-vigorous exercise can increase sleep quality for adults by reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and the amount of time they spend in a deep sleep.
While there is some debate about how much time should be placed between the workout and the pillow, Sports Medicine suggests that exercising in the evening may not disrupt an individual’s sleeping patterns, as long as they avoid vigorous activity for at least one hour before bedtime.
Optimizing your exercise routine can potentially help you sleep better but getting an adequate amount of sleep may also promote healthier physical activity levels during the day.
That is a win/win.
You Know Yourself, Your Body & Your Habits Best
Getting regular exercise any time of the day may contribute to good sleep hygiene habits.
In fact, the same John Hopkins Medicine study reported that people who engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise may see a difference in sleep quality that same night.
If you believe a high-intensity workout in the evenings is interfering with your ability to sleep, choose a milder approach that keeps the heart rate down and the body temperature low.
Yoga, meditation, and stretching exercises can all help keep the mind and body calm, especially as bedtime approaches, but it is you who knows you best. That means tinkering with workout times might be necessary to understand what works best.
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