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Does Exercise Help or Hinder Sleep?

There is no denying that exercise has numerous health benefits – but did you know, it can actually improve the quality of your sleep? Rumour has it, any type of exercise during the day can affect sleep positively. Here, Ely Mattress discuss how sleep can help or hinder sleep.

Exercise is said to help you sleep better. People who exercise regularly report better sleep than those who don’t, according to a National Sleep Foundation poll. Physical activity boosts the time spent in deep sleep, the most physically restorative sleep phase known as REM sleep. This type of deep sleep helps to:

  • increase immune function;
  • improve cardiac health;
  • and reduce stress and anxiety.

These sleep benefits from exercising is because of the release of adenosine in the body. Adenosine promotes sleep and supresses arousal. Plus, an increase in body temperature due to daytime exercise often leads to a decrease in body temperature at night, allowing people to experience deeper sleep cycles.

The importance of timing your exercise

When is it best to complete an exercise routine, you may ask? Here are some tips on when to exercise to improve sleep, based on various bits of research:

  • Exercise causes the body to release endorphins. Endorpins make us feel good and can create a response in the brain that keeps some people awake. Therefore, it is better to exercise during the daytime, afternoon or early evening, to ensure you feel good during the day, and feel in a restful mood at night.
  • Most types of exercises increase your body temperature – An increase in core body temperature indicates to our body clock that it’s time to be awake. After about 30 to 90 minutes, the core body temperature starts to fall. The decline in temperature helps to enable sleepiness.
  • Based on the research done on exercise and body temperature, exercising three to six hours before going to sleep is best. It is better not to exercise less than three hours before bedtime, as it won’t give your body enough time to cool down, which can keep you up.

Which types of exercise are good for sleep?

Here are some types of exercises that will promote a better sleep:

  • Yoga – Yoga helps to stretch your core muscles and yoga poses such as the cobra, warrior, lotus, downward facing dog and even the tree pose are all excellent ways to stretch out your muscles, get some good less vigorous exercise, and really centre yourself. Yoga often includes focusing on your breathing throughout the stretches. Concentrate on your exhalations and inhalations to again focus the mind and bring it into a relaxed and peaceful state to really reap the benefits. This exercise not only relaxes your muscles but it relaxes your mind too – making drifting off to sleep a lot easier.
  • Walking – Most of us walk each day – but we may not do enough of it. Walking is easy, convenient and effective way to sleep better. Walking is considered to be a low-intensity exercise and helps calm you down.
  • Swimming – This is another great full-body cardiovascular exercise that is excellent for several reasons. Known as one of the best cardio exercises due to the fact it uses every part of your body and it raises your heart rate at the same time. The increased burn in energy, plus the cardio benefits of increased lung function and heart health can help you relax more comfortably with more energy burned after you’ve completed some lengths of the pool.
  • Burpees – They are an exertive full body aerobic exercise, which is why they burn a large number of calories. They are hugely useful in burning extra energy so that you feel tired when the time comes to get some rest at night.

How much exercise do you need for better sleep?

Any amount of exercise that you can do is going to have a good effect on you – so there isn’t a definite number of minutes you should exercise per day. It’s recommended that a fit and healthy person aims for around 150 minutes of moderate-intense aerobic exercise per week, which equates to about 30 minutes, five days a week. The goal is to increase your heartbeat slightly so that you can feel the true benefits of exercising on sleep. The less inactive you are during the day, the better you’ll sleep at night.

Ensure you rest on the right mattress after your workout

Exercise can put stress on your muscles – albeit good stress. We still need time to recover from exercising, so sleep is vital for your health. When you’re choosing a mattress, opt for one that gives the whole-body great support and contours to your spine.

The Ely Mattress does exactly that. We are a natural mattress maker, known for comfort, trust, and health.

For more information, visit our homepage.

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