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Sleep and Exercise: How do they correlate?



The truth is, the amount of sleep you get is equally proportional to the time you spent exercising. After hours of workouts, you always feel delightfully tired. Scientific evidence can back this up. The tiredness also transforms into a healthy sleep at night. Exercise forms a vital part of the sleep hygiene habits you need to embrace for a better sleep experience. If suffering from Insomnia or have difficulty sleeping, the next course of action you want to try out is exercising.

You may ask how much exercise is needed for quality sleep? Health associations such as the American National Institute of health recommend a daily practice of 30 minutes for 5 days a week. That for exercises to have a profound effect on your sleep, it needs to be done consistently and routinely. Persons with sleep disorders should pay more attention to routine activities for better rest. For optimum results in exercising, know your chronotype. This helps you understand your best sleep time and the times you are most alert.


How exercises affect your sleep

If still unsure of whether you should exercise or not for quality sleep, here are some benefits of exercising that may help you decide.

Makes you sleep more

Sleep duration is increased with regular exercises. When you exercise, you expend energy from your body. Used power makes you feel tired. This transforms into more extended hours of sleep at night.

Improves the quality of your sleep

Sleep is not quality enough if you are only sleeping lightly. However, if you want to get a deep sleep, exercises can help you improve. Deep sleep helps to rebound your physical energy. More to this, it takes care of your body overall health by boosting your immune function and managing your stress levels.

Controls sleep disorders such as Insomnia and sleep apnea.

Using medications is always the most preferred route for people suffering from sleep disorders. Studies have shown that exercising can be an excellent natural therapy to help in the treatment of Insomnia. Aerobic exercises work best in handling the symptoms of insomnia. Just like any other physical therapy, the results of exercising on Insomnia are not immediate but take time. If you also have obstructive sleep apnea symptoms, studies back exercising as a natural remedy.

Relieves anxiety

Exercising also relieves you of anxiety and mood disorders. Many people having sleep problems have cited stress as a common cause of little or no sleep. Routine exercises help relieve your brain and body of importance by inducing anti-stress responses that help reduce your anxiety. Mind exercises such as Yoga and meditation help you to relax. This reduces blood pressure, lowers your cortisol hormone giving you an overall positive effect.


Exercises you could do before sleeping.

Knowing the kind of exercises, you need is a big plus in improving your sleep duration and quality. Put in mind that exercising also goes hand in hand with nutrition. You want to make sure you are even eating a balanced diet that gives your body the right nutrients. Your beddings are also important, and that’s why you should consider going for the Tempurpedic mattress that is firm to keep off joint pains when you wake up in the morning.

Sleep disorder patients should focus on mind relaxation exercises that keep their minds calm. Some lightweight activities can also be done to relieve yourself of any kind of tensions before bedtime.


Lightweight body exercises

The science behind lightweight practices is that it raises your body temperatures then cools it off after the workout. The cooling down of your body after an exercise activity is what makes it fall asleep quickly. Most of these exercises last for about an hour and could be a run or simple workouts such as sit-ups, crunches and the leg raise. These exercises can be done an hour to bedtime. They need not be done rapidly but in slow motions, as you are just about to go to bed.


Belly breathing

This is a deep-breath exercise that can be done while lying in bed. Breath slowly and deeply from the bottom of your diaphragm. Sustain the breathing by filling your stomach with oxygen so that it bulges out. Then, allow the oxygen from your stomach expand from the lower part of the chest cavity up your throat and finally letting your lungs rise. Do belly breathing when your mind is relaxed and undistracted by sounds and images from your television. You could inhale thrice, hold it for two counts then exhale four times.


Stretches

If your joints are stiff, they could interfere with the quality of your sleep. You want to stretch your hips and back before jumping into bed. A simple way to do this is to lie on your stomach and make an arch by extending your arms and limbs upwards.


Yoga

Yoga exercises are good for sleep. However, you do not want to attempt poses that will stretch your groin. Men should not try the wheel or crow pose exercises. These postures achieve the opposite effect of pulling your body instead of lulling it to rest. Your poses should be simple while ensuring a perfect position for your hips, shoulders, knees and ankles. Poses you can attempt are the standing forward bend and the mountain pose.


Visualisations

With thousands of thoughts crossing your mind in a day you can be able to visualise many things. However, as sleep time approaches, you could use visualisation to your advantage. Close your eyes and picture yourself in a calm and serene environment that can give you a relaxed mind. Remain in this state long enough to drift off. This technique could be used anywhere and not necessarily when lying on your bed. At first, it won’t be easy, but master it by practising and committing to doing it often. You could start with 5 minutes and extend it as you progress.


Final thoughts

Exercises are essential to keep your body healthy. More than just health, they have also been found to aid sleep. Exercises expend energy from your body leading to a deeper sleep at night to recover the used energy. You can even attempt light weight exercises an hour before bedtime. They are good for relaxation and stretching your muscles.

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