Rest = Sleep … yes of course that has been the traditional equation with which our minds have been conditioned since ages, but a new and better equation is gaining ground based on recent studies and research. Let us unveil the same today…
Exercise = Better Sleep
Wondering what half an hour of drilling and sweating during the day can do to your sleep? Well, it can do wonders…
Not only to your body but to your health and mind too.
As per a recent study 150 hours of exercise during the week leaves you more alert and refreshed during the day and initiates better sleep at night. There are various other experiments and research studies which speak of similar facts. A well known research was conducted on different volunteers all clinically diagnosed with insomnia. They were subject of 30 minutes of light exercise usually some running or brisk walking on the treadmill or stationary bicycle. After a month the results observed or recorded were phenomenal. All volunteers experienced 45 minutes to 1 hour of extra sound sleep, with less mid night wake ups and more quality sleep.
Exercise, jogging, aerobics, Pilates or any other form of physical activity that gears up your muscles, tissues and joints is likely to benefit you in terms of sleep. How?…. Simple, it raises your body temperature during the activity process and later when your body temperature cools down it triggers a sense of tiredness and relaxation that induces sleep. Adopting a regular exercise schedule early morning or during the afternoon, is likely to set your sleep-wake cycle or clock on track and regularize your sleep pattern and duration.
Exercising involves heavy sweating and an adrenaline rush that consumes energy, and leaves you tired and burn out. It reduces stress level and leaves you with a lynching fatigue that is most likely to increase your sleepiness and pull you towards the bed naturally.
Studies also prove that the more you burn out or exercise, the better it translates into sound sleep. The more intense your physical activity, the more time your body needs to repair and restore the worn out tissues. So, if you are aiming for a better night of sleep, gear up to first exercise and burn the energy before conserving it through some placid sleep.
Exercising in the outdoors is stated to bring about better results as your body soaks in the natural sunlight that helps to repair and restore your tissues and also balance your sleep-wake cycle by conditioning your brain with the right amount of light that your body absorbs.
Studies also prove that exercise acts as a boon for those suffering from insomnia, especially the old or those in their twilight years. Some types of exercises like yoga and tai chi have a therapeutic effect on those suffering from sleep disorders like insomnia or sleep apnea. Exercise helps everyone experience a deeper and more restful sleep. As per a study, people who did yoga or some form of meditative exercise for 30-45 minutes every day, fell asleep 30 minutes faster than those who did no form of exercise. They also experienced sound, restful sleep with almost no wake ups during the night.
People who complain of sleep problems usually suffer from high levels of stress and anxiety. Exercise or any intense physical training initially increases the stress levels, and then gradually reduces it. No wonder, exercise is often referred to as the best ‘natural tranquilizer’.
Exercise not only helps improve the quality of your sleep but it also helps you fall asleep faster. Research shows that those who engage in some form of physical exercise or simply do a little stretching or jogging, fall asleep faster with deeper sleep patterns as compared to those who did no such activity.
The physical effects of exercise on sleep are profound. It boosts vitality and metabolism. It relaxes the mind and body and reduces daytime sleepiness. With fewer day time naps, one tends to fall asleep faster at night and the sleep experienced is usually deep and more gratifying.
Most people report of better sleep after following a disciplined regime of exercise for a few days. The most remarkable results observed include falling asleep faster, plunging into deep (delta sleep) which aids in muscle repair and restoration and waking up in the morning feeling more refreshed and invigorated.
The exercise and sleep relation is somewhat like the chicken and egg paradox. Both influence each other symbiotically and it is difficult to trace which is the cause and which is the effect. However, what can surely be said is that both share a strong bonding and influence each other strongly to impact the overall health of an individual.
Since exercise has a strong influence on stress, anxiety, depression, mood swings and other emotional disorders that interfere with sleep, it has a strong and positive influence of sleep, thereby resolving all emotional problems. It not only gives your body an energy booster but also helps to lift up your mood and add a spring to your step, making you happy and driving you naturally to retire in the bed at the close of day.
The next time you feel lethargic to leave bed in the morning and jump on to your treadmill, remember, all the drilling and sweating will pay off at night when you effortlessly slip into slumber land… So, exercise right for a better and blissful night!