If you’ve ever searched for ways to sleep better at night through Google or your favorite provider, then there’s a good chance that you were advised to get some more exercise. It’s always good to get some exercise, but it can also cause you to sleep less instead of more.
Despite the risks of chronic insomnia developing from exercise, many people swear by the practice of exercising to get better sleep. What makes it possible for some people to sleep better with exercise, but for others they see a decline in the amount of healthy sleep they receive?
The answer may lie in the type of exercises that are being done.
Moderate Aerobic Exercise Can Help You Sleep Better
In studies reported on by the National Sleep Foundation, it found that people who struggle with insomnia can benefit by having regular moderate-intensity aerobic exercise during the day. This means walking, light jogging on a treadmill, or the use of an elliptical or low-impact exercise machine. Water aerobics may also be included.
When vigorous aerobic exercise is included with a person’s daily routine, such as a long jog of over 2 miles, then it may not improve sleep. Lifting weights may also cause additional sleep disruptions.
Over the course of 4-24 weeks, those who got moderate exercise reported being able to sleep quicker, sleeping a little bit longer every night, and having a better quality of sleep compared to those who got vigorous exercise.
Why Does Intense Exercise Disrupt Sleeping Patterns?
When you exercise, your body will naturally begin to heat up. Your heart begins to pump faster. There is a corresponding increase in blood pressure. Each of these triggers promotes a stimulating effect within the body, increasing metabolism rates for up to 48 hours in some cases. This is what promotes a lack of sleep.
For those who receive a moderate level of exercise, there is a post-exercise drop in body temperature that can help to promote falling asleep. Moderate exercises also disrupt the physical factors that can cause insomnia, such as anxiety, the symptoms of depression, or elevated arousal levels.
Exercise in moderate levels can also balance out a person’s circadian rhythm. When used in combination with other balancing products, such as a sunrise alarm, it becomes possible to establish a healthy bedtime routine that promotes sleep instead of discouraging it.
How Much Exercise Do I Need to Achieve Balance?
If you want to fall asleep faster and wake up feeling rested, then just 10 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise is enough to improve the quality of sleep you’re able to achieve.
Finding the right time to exercise is what will unlock the full potential of your sleep. Everyone is different, so it is a process of trial and error. If you find that exercise in the evening makes it harder to sleep at night, then exercise in the morning instead. The opposite may also be true.
Once you find what balances you, then keep up with it. This will help you make sure that you’re getting the right amount of sleep for your physical and mental needs every night.