Exercising for a better night's sleep

We all know that exercise strengthens our bodies and gives us more energy in the day, but did you know exercise can also help us sleep better?

How exercise helps improve your sleep

  • Exercise, by expending energy and tiring our bodies simply makes us feel tired, helping us to go to sleep faster and thereby increasing the duration of our sleep.
  • Exercise increases the amount of time spent in deep sleep. Deep Sleep is our restorative sleep phase, that helps the brain rest and recover, balance hormones, boost immune function and control stress and anxiety.
  • By reducing the level of particular hormones in our bodies and stimulating others exercise can also help relieve stress and anxiety, a common cause of a lack of sleep. As identified by the Harvard.edu article exercising to relax

“The mental benefits of aerobic exercise have a neurochemical basis. Exercise reduces levels of the body's stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body's natural painkillers and mood elevators” 

What is the best time to exercise for a better night’s sleep

Although exercise can help improve your sleep it is important to consider how the time of day you are working out and how the type of exercise you are doing may affect your sleep. 

Some people may find that working out too close to bedtime may keep them up at night.

If you find this is the case, avoid undertaking vigorous or aerobic activity in the evenings.  Work out in the mornings or afternoons and give your body 4-5 hours to wind down before bedtime.

Use the evenings to relax , practice mindfulness or yoga

Harvard.edu's article Yoga for Better Sleep recognising that

"Yoga is a gentle and restorative way to wind down your day A national survey found that over 55% of people who did yoga found that it helped them get better sleep. Over 85% said yoga helped reduce stress." 

Not sure where to start, or need some new ideas for a work out 

Head to our facebook page and try our 10 minute workout with personal trainer and actress Ariel Kaplan. No equipment needed, can be done at home or in the park. 

Take the time to exercise everyday, you will see the overall health benefits, have more energy and get a better night’s sleep.  And if working from home, or regularly sitting in front of a computer at the office, get up and move regularly during the day as less sitting is also associated with better health and sleep.

Sleep Well, Live Well