Alaska Sleep Education Center

The Connection Between Exercise and a Great Night's Sleep

Posted by Lewis Robinson on Jun 10, 2022 1:38:00 AM

Happy elderly couple exercising in a pilates class at the gym with three other younger people toning and strengthening their muscles using gym balls.

Exercise is an essential part of maintaining overall health and wellness. While how much you actually need can vary from person to person, most experts agree that you should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity every single day. In addition, it's important to elevate your heart rate on a routine basis while also strengthening your muscles at least twice a week.

Exercise has a host of benefits, including:

  • Reducing your risks of disease
  • Boosting your mood
  • Improving digestion
  • Helping you manage your weight
  • Relieving stress
  • Reducing inflammation and chronic pain

Exercise also plays an important role in how well you sleep at night. Learning more about this important activity and how it affects your body can help you enjoy better rest on a regular basis.

Four Ways Exercise Promotes Restful Sleep

If you find yourself tossing and turning night after night, getting in a good workout during the day can help. Most people don't get as much exercise as they need, but making some small changes can be well worth the effort.

It Tires You Out

While your workday may have been mentally taxing, spending hours sitting at a desk might not be enough to make you tired at night. However, when you participate in some strenuous physical activity, your body will easily feel tired when you're done. For example, swimming is a great way to tire yourself out by exercising your entire body. Contacting swimming pool contractors in Pensacola can help make it possible for you to swim more often for a low-impact, full-body workout that helps you sleep better.

Even moderate exercise can be enough to help your body crave some rest and relaxation at the end of the day. For those with preexisting conditions, longevity may be the safer approach as opposed to intensity. Either way, you don't want to push yourself to the point of utter exhaustion or pain. Always consult with a physician before starting a new exercise regimen to be safe.

It Affects Your Core Body Temperature

A good workout can elevate your body temperature temporarily, which is why it's so easy to work up a sweat when you're really exercising. This is due to the amount of heat energy that your muscles generate when they're contracting while you're moving your body more than usual. However, it's not the heat that causes you to sleep better, but what happens to the body as it tries to maintain homeostasis. Eventually, your body temperature will drop, creating the perfect scenario for great rest.

It Releases Endorphins

Exercise helps stimulate the release of certain chemicals within the body known as endorphins. These feel-good molecules help inhibit discomfort and improve your mood. This means a good workout can be very effective at managing chronic pain and symptoms of anxiety and depression. When your body feels better and more at ease, it's much easier to get the sleep you need.

It Relieves Stress

Your body is equipped with a sympathetic nervous system that initiates a "fight or flight" response when you're in a stressful situation. In generations past, this response helped supply the body with the energy it needed to escape danger or endure long periods without food or rest. Today, most of our stressors are mental and emotional rather than physical, so exercise is one of the best ways to lower those stress levels and deactivate that "fight or flight" response. Working out reduces the release and overall level of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the body. Studies have shown that reducing stress can help improve sleep.

If you're struggling to get enough rest on a routine basis, ask yourself this: Are you getting as much exercise as your body truly needs? Try to find ways to move your body every single day and focus on elevating your heart rate in the process. You'll likely find that it's easier to fall asleep fast and stay asleep longer when you do. If your trouble sleeping persists, be sure to talk with a physician to rule out any other underlying causes.

If you are struggling with getting enough sleep or would like some expert advice about the connection between exercise and sleep, contact your local sleep experts. If you live in Alaska, click on the link below to connect with a professional sleep specialist.

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Topics: alaska sleep clinic, exercise, overall wellness, great sleep

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