The Effects Of Exercise On Your Sleep

Woman asleep on her treadmill.  

According to a recent poll performed by the National Sleep Foundation, people who engage in vigorous exercise sleep better than those who perform light or no exercise at all. While it may seem like common knowledge that you sleep better when you’re tired, it’s not quite as simple as tiring yourself out before bedtime. You see, exercise not only wears you out, it can help improve the quality of the sleep you’re getting.

We are all very busy people, and we can’t always find time in the day between going to work, chauffeuring the kids around, and running errands, it sometimes feels like it’s next to impossible to get into the gym for five minutes, much less the solid 45 minute cardio workout that experts recommend.  So does this mean that if we can’t relocate to a cave on top of a deserted cliff, we’re all just doomed to a lifetime of sleepiness? Of course not! With a little thought and/or planning we can get our workout in, and as a result, improve our sleep.

It turns out that even as little as ten minutes of activity can improve your sleep. Think of sleep benefits on a “slide rule” of sorts. Some activity equals some sleep improvement; moderate activity equals moderate improvement; and, of course, vigorous exercise leads to the most significant sleep improvement of all.

So, now that you know you can carve out a workout at regular times during the day, how do you begin?  I’m so glad you asked! Here are a few tips for squeezing some physical activity into even the most crowded of schedules:

Take a brisk walk. A 10 minute walk at lunch can help perk you up for the rest of the day, and it counts toward your total daily exercise. You could also use the restroom on the floor above or below you to get a little extra activity in.  If you find yourself doing a lot of sitting and waiting during your chauffeur duties, utilize this time by taking a walk around the block.

Stand up and stretch. Too much time sitting still can have a number of health consequences, so take a few moments and stretch to get your blood flowing throughout the day. Do a little desk yoga and your body will thank you.

Work out during the morning or midday.  Exercising during the evening or at night can disrupt your sleep patterns.  Start out your day with a good workout to get your blood following, it will help you wake up and ready you for the day ahead.

Whether you have a little bit of time or a lot, you can always find a few spaces throughout your day to get in a little bit of physical activity. Talk to your doctor, chiropractor, or other healthcare professional before starting up any new exercise routine to ensure that a new schedule is right for you. Your Chiropractor may also be able to provide more information on sleep disturbances and their causes.  

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This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.