Exercise to Help You Sleep Better

Exercise has endless health benefits – stress management, weight loss, self-esteem, mental health, to name a few.

Among those benefits is the impact it has on a good night’s sleep.

What is the best time of day to exercise to help you sleep better?

The time of day you choose to work out and the type of work out you do can impact your sleep for the better (or worse!).

Getting your sweat on in the early hours of the day or early afternoon is the best time for working out and means a higher quality sleep at night.

Working out in the morning raises your body temperature for 4 to 5 hours, and then it takes time to slowly come back down. Getting your workout in earlier in the day gives your body time to cool down and become sleepier later in the day when you are ready.

Best morning workouts:

The perfect early morning workout is cardio, which can be anything from running, biking, swimming, and interval training. Just ensure you allow yourself enough time to warm up your muscles beforehand.

Exercising late at night can keep you from sleeping- try the afternoon instead

Sleep experts discourage late night strenuous workouts, instead opt to do your strength workouts in the afternoon. Working out stimulates the brain and increases your body temperature, getting you mentally and physically pumped up, making it hard to wind down and get a peaceful night’s sleep.

However, yoga before bed can improve sleep

Yoga or light stretching is recommended to help wind down and relax before hitting the pillow.

For more tips on using your exercise routine to improve your sleep, check out Fix.com.

Editor’s note: This guest post was written by Katy Widrick of Fix.com. Katy is a self-proclaimed “fitness freak”! She is always on the go, working full-time as a television and multimedia producer at Growing Bolder, taking care of her new daughter, and competing in triathlons and half marathons! Katy loves using new tools and technologies to connect people to the healthy-living community. While you’ll see her enjoying a green smoothie or some kale, she believes all things should be enjoyed in moderation. So don’t be shocked to see her enjoying a cupcake and a large coffee every once in a while!

Sources:

  • https://sleepfoundation.org/sites/default/files/2014-NSF-Sleep-in-America-poll-summary-of-findings—FINAL-Updated-3-26-14-.pdf
  • https://sleepfoundation.org/media-center/national-sleep-foundation-poll-finds-exercise-key
  • https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-polls-data/sleep-in-america-poll/2014-sleep-in-the-modern-family/
  • https://sleepfoundation.org/sites/default/files/RPT336%20Summary%20of%20Findings%2002%2020%202013.pdf
  • https://sleep.org/articles/exercise-affects-sleep/
  • http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brain_basics/understanding_sleep.htm
  • http://www.journalsleep.org/
  • http://blog.nasm.org/fitness/sleep-exercise-connections/
  • https://sleepfoundation.org/ask-the-expert/how-does-exercise-help-those-chronic-insomnia
  • http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/21/how-exercise-can-help-us-sleep-better/
  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/04/sleep-exercise-sleep-in-america_n_2784457.html
  • http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20141222/tablets-and-e-readers-may-disrupt-your-sleep
  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/04/sleep-exercise-sleep-in-america_n_2784457.html

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