Whether you consider yourself to be a good sleeper or an insomniac, it is important to realize and appreciate the full potential of your nightly sleep. Here is one major daytime habit that you can change that will improve your sleep at night – Physical Exercise.
Many of us spend much of our day sitting motionless in a classroom, in a vehicle or perhaps in front of a computer screen, but research has shown that people who are physically fit and active have a better quality of sleep.
Exercising just three times a week for 20-30 minutes will have a noticeable impact on the quality of your sleep, as well as your overall health and fitness. You should prioritize and do exercises that get your heart pumping, such as walking, swimming or cycling.
Sleep experts recommend exercising at least four hours before bedtime, and the best time is usually late afternoon. Exercising at this time is beneficial because body temperature is related to sleep. Body temperatures rise during exercise and take as long as 6 hours to begin to drop. Because cooler body temperatures are associated with the onset of sleep, it’s important to allow the body time to cool off before sleep.
NSF Study Summary
People that took part in the survey were divided into 4 categories based on their exercising habits:
A) Vigorous: Running, biking, swimming, and significant physical exertion.
B) Moderate: Yoga, weight training and above average levels of exertion.
C) Light: Primarily walking and normal levels of exertion.
D) No Exercise: Did not engage in exercise (Bobvious).
The results were as follows:
- Everybody reported the same amount of sleep on a nightly basis. This was approximately 6 hours and 50 minutes on workdays and 7 hours and 35 minutes on days off.
- On average all groups suggested that they needed 7 hours and 15 minutes of sleep to function properly the next day.
- However, in all cases, those who exercised reported better sleep than the group below them and all slept better than those who did no exercise at all.
- The highest quality of sleep was reported by the group that exercised vigorously. They were the least likely to have sleep problems and if they did they were nothing compared to those that did not exercise.
- The “No Exercise” group did not only report lower quality sleep they also reported in greater numbers of a range of difficulties with their health and their daily lives.
The message is very clear and very obvious to me: If you want to be happy in your day time life make exercise a part of your daily routine. Again, devote some time every day to exercise. Make it a priority and it will make you feel better, look better and sleep better. And if you sleep better then the cycle of good days continues on and on.
Exercise on a regular basis if you want to Sleep Better…
FOAMITE INDUSTRIES INC.
R.C. (Bob) Dimas