Most of all, not getting enough sleep has serious consequences on your body. And, the infographic below highlights some of these.
In fact, regular exercise like walking and cycling has the potential to help you sleep. And the exercise doesn’t have to be done for long periods of time. For example, even 10 to 20 minutes may be all you need. In addition, exercise may help reduce the risk of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Also, exercise helps reduce stress and burns up calories.
Moreover, depending on your preferences and circumstances, exercise can be done in the morning, afternoon, or evening. For example, if you have a day job, then evening might be a good time because your stress level after work might be elevated. And exercise is a good way to dissipate that stress.
Also, soon after you get up in the morning, your energy levels are low along with your metabolic rate. As a result, some may find that they don’t have the energy to go all out. While others may find that they are pressed for time, especially if they have to go to work soon after.
Most noteworthy, exercising outdoors during the day exposes you to sunlight. And sunlight helps your body stop making the hormone melatonin which will make you less sleepy.
Especially relevant, studies show that exercise helps improve sleep for those suffering from chronic insomnia. Also, studies have found that after 4 to 24 weeks of exercise, those suffering from insomnia were able to sleep much better.
Most noteworthy, afternoon exercise causes body temperatures to rise. And the subsequent post exercise drop in body temperature helps falling asleep easier. In addition, by decreasing, arousal, anxiety and depressive symptoms, exercise helps those with insomnia sleep better. Finally, exercise effects the circadian rhythm in ways that help those with insomnia sleep easier.
Most of all, researchers don’t exactly know how exercise helps sleep. But data clearly shows it does. Moreover, researchers do know that moderate aerobic exercise increases the amount of slow wave sleep you get. And, they do know that exercise can also help stabilize mood and decompress the mind: a cognitive process that is important for naturally transitioning to sleep.
So, if falling asleep is your problem, start exercising.