Exercise also improves sleep for many people. Specifically, moderate to vigorous exercise can increase adult sleep quality by reducing sleep onset (or the time it takes to fall asleep) and decreasing the amount of time they stay awake in bed during the night. In addition, physical activity can help relieve daytime sleepiness and, for some people, reduce the need for sleep medications. Recent research indicates that exercise decreases sleep discomfort and insomnia in patients.
The effects of aerobic exercise on sleep appear to be similar to those of sleeping pills. However, more research is needed to compare physical exercise with medical treatments for insomnia. Regular exercise has many benefits, including better sleep. It can promote relaxation, reduce anxiety and normalize the internal clock.
Exercise also increases core body temperature. When it starts to go down, you feel sleepy. Cognitive Effects of Long-term Cannabis Use in Midlife If climate change keeps you up at night, here's how to cope with a migraine hangover? Read This Younger Adults With Kidney Disease Fight Health Disparities Ring Vaccination Could Help Reduce Monkeypox Outbreaks. Can understanding why and what to do help consider pregnancy and having lupus? Plan Ahead Q.
I've heard that you shouldn't exercise at night because it can cause trouble sleeping. Is this true? Researchers examined 23 studies that evaluated sleep initiation and quality in healthy adults who underwent a single night exercise session compared to similar adults who did not. They found that not only did night exercise not affect sleep, it seemed to help people fall asleep faster and spend more time in a deep sleep. However, those who did high-intensity exercise, such as interval training less than an hour before bedtime, took longer to fall asleep and had poorer sleep quality.
Establish a regular bedtime and adopt a relaxing sleep routine. Make sure your bed is comfortable and that your room is dark, quiet and cool. As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last revision or update of all articles.
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Plus, get a FREE copy of the best diets for cognitive fitness. Exercise benefits sleep no matter what time of day you exercise, so it's very important to find a realistic time that works with your schedule and energy levels. People who wake up early or “morning” are more likely to be physically active than those who sleep late or are more active at night. “I encourage people to listen to their bodies to see how well they sleep in response to when they exercise,” she adds.
The rest of the respondents rarely or never exercised an hour before bedtime, or refused to respond. For example, moderate to vigorous physical activity may lower the risk of excessive weight gain, which in turn makes the person less likely to experience symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is good news for your overall health, because a small drop in blood pressure at night is good for your heart and can help your body recover while you sleep. In other words, optimizing your exercise routine can help you sleep better and getting enough sleep can promote healthier levels of physical activity throughout the day.
If you can't sleep after exercising at night, it may be helpful to schedule your workouts earlier in the day. The researchers found, in general, that exercise done 2 or more hours before bedtime improved sleep quality. In one, subjects who exercised at night reported more slow-wave sleep and higher latency for rapid eye movement sleep compared to the control group, as well as less stage 1 (or light) sleep. And for those struggling with insomnia because their circadian rhythm (body clock) is out of sync, exercise can help synchronize the natural body clock.
For people who exercise outdoors, morning exercise may have the added benefit of sun exposure. A recent survey found that people who exercise at night take about the same amount of time to fall asleep as those who don't exercise at all. So maybe it's better to avoid those evening cycling classes? However, if we exercise too soon, won't we stay at noon? Does time play a role in exercise and sleep?. The same National Sleep Foundation exercise and sleep survey found that users report that they sleep better after exercising, regardless of the time they get moving.