Do you know anyone who doesn’t want to sleep better? Wake more rested, with more energy, better focus and ready to go?
We sure don’t!
If there was any chance you needed yet another reason to make exercise a part of your weekly routine, how about all of those things?
Yes…exercise for better sleep!
“Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” – Thomas Dekker
At this point, there should be very little doubt about the importance of regular, sound sleep, plays in maintaining optimal bodily function and overall health.
Unfortunately, a lack of sleep is a real issue in society and appears to be getting worse.
Good news though, one of the proven, but often overlooked, benefits of regular exercise is…better sleep patterns.
Ready to sleep like a log?
Lack of Sleep is Detrimental in Many Ways
Numerous studies note, despite the overwhelming consensus that both sufficient sleep and adequate exercise are pivotal in maintaining health, these behaviors fall by the wayside in the typical American lifestyle.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly one-third of adults sleep less than the recommended seven hours per night needed to maintain optimal health.
Even worse, roughly 2/3 of teenagers come up short of their recommended 8-10 hours of sleep.
Not only does chronic sleep deprivation increase the risk of a host of physical and mental illnesses, but it has a significant economic impact as well, costing businesses, families and the healthcare system billions of dollars annually.
Needless to say, if you aren’t exercising AND deal with sleep-related issues, your risk of illness is increased substantially.
Exercise to the Rescue
Now, what if we told you that you could reduce sleep issues drastically with some regular exercise. It doesn’t even need to be anything crazy or hardcore.
In fact, just “movement”, over and above the typical day’s requirements can make a difference.
In other words, going for a walk each day, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking your car further away from the doors, morning push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, etc….yep, all count as movement.
In short, some form of “exercise” has the ability to reduce stress levels thus allowing for a better, more relaxed sleep.
When You Exercise Can Matter Too
Obviously, an individual’s personal daily schedule will determine when, in fact, one has the time for their exercise “routine” and its length.
However, if at all possible, you should try to avoid getting it in less than two hours before bed.
Ramping yourself up and training right before calling it a night, might have the exact opposite effect we are looking for here.
When possible, it is best to schedule your fitness training when your sleep pattern will also benefit from it the most, earlier in the day.
Simply do your best to keep it as far from bedtime as possible so your body and mind can unwind and relax before hitting the pillow.
The Compounding Effect
As your sleep patterns become more regular, your energy levels will, in turn, increase as well. This begins a compounding “cycle” of sorts.
More exercise, more energy. More energy, more motivation. More motivation, more productivity. More productivity….watch your desire to exercise increase and thus the effects reach a whole new level in the next cycle.
Without question, exercise and sleep complement one another, allowing for better fitness and overall health.
If you don’t focus on getting good sleep, then there is a possibility you could wind up overtraining, if you are exercising intensively, or find yourself skipping a workout altogether because you are simply too tired.
Don’t Forget What Goes in Your Mouth
It should go without saying, what you eat is just as important as your exercise and sleep routines.
In fact, your diet can also play a large role in not only how you look, feel and perform, but also how you rest, how you sleep.
Foods can absolutely wreak havoc on your system and throw your sleep off, so it is important that you pay attention to your body, how it digests and how it reacts to the foods you eat as well.
One Step at a Time
Remember, every baby learns to walk with the well-known “baby steps”. More often than not, this should be how you make your life changes as well.
Most people “fail” to see through on their health “resolutions” because they try to do too much too quickly, or change too many things all at once.
If you want to sleep a little bit better, simply start by adding some kind of exercise to your daily routine and reap the rewards with more and better sleep.
You only have one life to live, one body to live it in, so take care of it. Progress, not perfection. Good, better, best with your food intake and some form of movement daily. Get your nutritional foundation from food, supplement where necessary, and drink plenty of water. We are here to help so feel free to drop us comments or questions as often as you’d like and always consult your physician before making any changes to your diet or exercise regiment.
Live a 3D life…Decisions Determine Destinations!