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The relationship between exercise and sleep

The relationship between exercise and sleep

Exercise is often considered to be a miracle solution for various health issues, including sleep problems. But how exactly does physical activity influence our sleep quality? Let’s explore the relationship between exercise and sleep and find the right balance to enhance our well-being.

Regular physical activity can have a profound, positive impact on sleep quality. Exercise helps regulate our sleep patterns and makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep by several mechanisms. 

Engaging in aerobic exercise like walking, running, or cycling can help you enter deeper, more restorative stages of sleep. Moreover, exercise can help synchronize your internal body clock (circadian rhythms), making it easier to maintain consistent sleep-wake cycles and align them with light and dark hours. Actually, physical activity can be a natural remedy for insomnia, by reducing the time it takes to fall asleep as well as the number of wake-ups during the night.

Finding the right time for your workouts is yet another aspect of one’s sleep hygiene. Morning and afternoon workouts are generally considered as most beneficial for sleep. These timings can help you feel more alert during the day, make the best out of your day and make it easier to fall asleep at night.

However, intense exercise close to bedtime can actually have the opposite effect. It may elevate your heart rate and body temperature, as well as release endorphins and adrenaline, making it harder to wind down soon after. If evenings are your only option, try gentler activities like yoga or pilates, for example.

To maximize the benefits of exercise for sleep and overall wellness, focus on maintaining consistency. Actually, consistency might be the key ingredient that elevates your habits to the next level. Similarly to many other processes of achieving better well-being, paying attention to your body is essential, make sure you provide your body with the time to recover and keep your eyes on the bigger picture. No single training will change your life in a moment, but being a working-out person will.

 

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