Sleep is a valuable asset that many of us take for granted. When we don’t get a regular 7-9 hours of sleep, we can feel the immediate effects and eventually the long-term effects if inadequate sleep becomes a habit. Studies show that a chronic lack of sleep has detrimental long-term consequences to our health and can even shorten our lives.
One way to improve the quality and quantity of sleep is regular exercise. Adequate sleep along with regular exercise and a nutritious diet are the cornerstones of a healthy life. While scientists are only discovering why we sleep and what constitutes quality sleep, it’s now apparent that exercise is extremely beneficial in improving quality of sleep in adults of all ages and children. Sleep will increase the time spent in slow-wave patterns of sleep which is important for body repair and maintenance. Exercise not only improves the quality of sleep but also the duration of sleep which can be helpful to improve our sleep deprived, high intensity and busy lives.
If you don’t already exercise on a regular basis, try it even for a short period of time each day for 5 days and see whether the quality and quantity of your sleep improves. Of course, exercising just prior to going to bed is not a great idea because exercise is a stimulant to the body. However, regular exercise in the morning, during the day or early evening, is one of the 10 commandments of healthy sleeping!
If you are tossing and turning give exercise a shot, and let us know how you go, I’d love to hear from you,
Kelley, G. A. and K. S. Kelley (2017). “Exercise and sleep: a systematic review of previous meta-analyses.” Journal of Evidence Based Medicine 10(1): 26-36.
The American Sleep Apnea Association https://www.sleephealth.org/sleep-health/ten-commandments-of-healthy-sleep/