By Doug Geller | March 24, 2021
How Does Exercise Affect Sleep?
Have you always been an avid exerciser? Have you adjusted your exercise regime as your body has changed? Are you still burning the candle at both ends? Your answers to these questions and many more impact the quality of your sleep so we are going to look deeper at how exercise affects sleep.
Most of us require exercise and the corresponding endorphin rush to “survive” and get through our day to day activities. Don’t get me wrong I still love waking up and taking that five mile run on the streets, treadmill or even better on the boardwalk or beach. As I get older, I’ve just realized that I had to perform my daily exercises ‘smarter’. When you sit down and take the time to think about the benefits of exercise for your mind and body, the list would go on and on.
Let’s think about your best days of exercise, activity or athletic achievement. Were they directly related to hydration and sleep? If we gave this a little bit of thought, I think we would all come to realize that these two components were directly related to our performance.
When you take care of yourself and exercise regularly, you will most likely notice that your mind and body feel sharper throughout the day and you will sleep better at night. Research has shown that physical activity can provide excellent benefits for your nighttime sleep. Making exercise part of your daily routine may contribute to an overall healthier body and more peaceful night’s sleep.
When and how much should you exercise?
Regular exercise in the morning or early afternoon have been proven to be the most beneficial times of day to exercise.
The Physical Activity Guidelines published US Health & Human Services Department recommend a MINIMUM of one hundred fifty (150) minutes of moderate to rigorous exercise weekly for “Substantial Benefits” and note that additional benefits are gained for exceeding three hundred (300) minutes.
At Therapist Preferred, we believe that any and all activity is a positive and encourage you to find the time to exercise for a healthier you!
Is there a better time of day to work out?
As mentioned above, research has shown that there are optimal times of day for working out to maximize the direct health benefits on the body.
Interestingly, morning workouts seem to have the greatest effect on influencing one’s sleep. Early afternoon exercise plays a close second to leading to a good night’s sleep. This early afternoon time of exercise leads to an increase in overall body temperature by about three (3) degrees. As the body’s temperature decreases over time and resets, the body’s autonomic nervous system will trigger a response that induces drowsiness for sleep.
Not everyone who exercises will experience the increased sleep benefits described but again, exercise will benefit your general wellness.
How can exercise affect your sleep?
Through decades of research exercise has been shown to improve overall sleep quality. Exercise has been known to increase the length of time we all spend in ‘deep’ sleep. This REM or ‘deep’ sleep is where the body tends to do its best healing. Deep sleep has a direct link to improving immune function, increasing cardiovascular health as well as helping to manage stress and anxiety.
Do you ever have difficulty sleeping?
Some people find it difficult to fall asleep and or stay asleep. Ever notice the connection this has to our daily stress? Most people don’t even realize the effect that stress has on our bodies. This can cause decreased appetite, restlessness, and deficiencies in our quality sleep. One way to combat stress would be to implement a regular exercise routine. Along with healthy eating habits, exercise will certainly lead to better sleep patterns.
Even after regular exercise and healthy eating, some people still may suffer from irregular sleep. Natural sleep aids, like melatonin, may be a good option in those situations after consulting your healthcare professional. Melatonin is commonly combined with CBD to help you relax and sleep more naturally.
Therapist Preferred’s CBD Soft Gels with Melatonin combine our premium, THC Free 25mg Soft Gel with 3mg of Melatonin + 3mg of CBN. As mentioned in our previous post, we recommend taking 1-2 of these capsules 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime for a more restful sleep.
Sleep is such an integral part of our health and wellness routine so make sure you are making it a priority!
About the Author:
Doug Geller is a Doctor of Physical Therapy/owner of SCORE with PT in Rye, NY and co-founder of Therapist Preferred. He leads an active lifestyle which includes playing soccer and basketball. You will always find him on an epic peloton ride and/or run as he is an avid exercise enthusiast. To support his needs as an athlete, he utilizes Therapist Preferred’s sports cream daily for muscle recovery and soft gel capsules for everyday wellness!
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