Sleep And Exercise – Why Exercising Makes You Sleep Better

‘I really regret that exercise’ – said no one ever. There’s nothing in this world that beats the feeling of achievement and regular exercises. Working out is great for both mind and body, and it can help you get a good night’s sleep.

For some people being active too late in the day can conflict with how well they rest at night. Are you one of those people or high adrenaline helps you sleep even better?

How Exercise May Help You Sleep

Having a regular and proper exercise habits means that you and constantly upgrading your cognitive process, and you know that this process is important when it comes to having natural transitioning to sleep.

What is known is the fact that moderate aerobic exercise increases the amount of slow-wave sleep you get. Slow-wave always indicates deep sleep, where both the body and the brain have a chance to rejuvenate.

One of the great things of exercise is that it can help stabilize your mood and lower the negative energy. Therefore, after every workout, you’ll be happier. On the other hand, surprisingly, researchers don’t know actually how physical activity improves sleep. Also, they were never able to pinpoint the mechanism that explains how the two are related.

5 Facts About Sleep And Exercise

When the world wanted to learn what were the biggest link between sleep and exercise and what are the main benefits to sleep, the researches gathered to learn how well do we sleep after a day with an exercise. Therefore, back in 2013 National Sleep Foundation Sleep In America Poll examined the relationship between sleep and exercise.

The poll provided surprising and interesting findings of the link between sleep habits and active lifestyles. Here are the top five results:

  1. Exercisers sleep better – people who say they exercise report much better sleep than those who say they don’t exercise at all. As is turned out, exercisers – more than three-fourths of exercisers – said that their sleep quality was good or fairly good in the past two weeks, compared to non-exercisers.
  2. Active exercisers sleep better – active exercisers report a good sleep every night or almost every night. Moreover, they are least likely to report sleep problems.
  3. Non-exercisers are the sleepiest – yes, non-exercisers are the sleepiest. This group also have the highest risk for sleep apnea.
  4. Less time sitting is important – less time sitting is associated with better sleep and overall better health. Those who sit less than 8 hours a day were more likely to report ‘very good ‘sleep quality.
  5. Exercising at any time of the day is good for sleep – as it turned out at what time of the day you exercise is not that relevant for good sleep. Therefore, exercising late at night, before the bad time, wasn’t anyhow linked with poorer sleep quality. Interestingly, exercise was linked to better sleep no matter what time of day.

Timing Is Everything?

It is important to understand how your body works. By knowing your body needs you will be also able to understand what triggers your body for certain reactions and needs, and moreover, you will be able to know the exact hour for your body’s requirement. Therefore, just like with anything in life – timing is everything.

The same philosophy goes for sleep and exercise. Some people spend evening hours running or dancing, just before their bedtime without any real fear of not getting enough sleep during the night, while others not so much. Others prefer to have workout early in the morning or during the day because if they hit the gym late at night it can interfere with their sleep that same night. Simply said, some people find that exercising to bedtime seems to keep them up at night, while others not.

Also, there is a scientific explanation behind this occurrence. Aerobic exercise causes the body to release endorphins. These chemicals are known for being able to create a certain level of activity in the brain, that can keep some people awake. If you are part of this group, you should exercise at least 1 to 2 hours before going to bed. By doing so, you will give endorphin levels enough time to wash out. Besides, this will give the brain enough time to wind down. Your core body temperature rises as you exercise.

Fun fact: The effect of exercise in some people is like taking a hot shower that wakes you up in the morning.

Biological Response

Elevation in core body temperature signals the body clock that it’s time to be awake. After 30 to 90 minutes, the core body temperature starts to fall. On the other hand, a decline in your core body temperature helps to facilitate sleepiness.

Biological responses are always the same, and nothing can surprise us here. It’s known how the body works. Despite these biological facts and reactions, some people simply don’t find that the time of day they exercise is anyhow relevant to their good sleep. For them, timing is irrelevant. Or is it? Because, it’s also the fact that some people know their body better and understand its needs, so they learned how to live around it. They know what feels good.

The main key takeaways from this finding should be that it’s important to know your body and yourself, together with your real needs and sleeping schedule. After all, everyone will tell you that you should exercise, including your doctor, but when do you do it is not scripted.

Exercise And Sleep Connection In A Nutshell

There are many ways to explain how beneficial exercise is for sleep and the opposite. Their connection can be explained through many mutual points and characteristics because they are supporting each other so often and in many ways. The most common benefits of exercise for good sleep:

  • Improves sleep quality
  • Increases sleep duration
  • Reduces stress
  • Tires you out
    • Resets the sleep wake cycle

    If you exercise early morning and afternoon you will help reset the sleep-wake cycle by slightly raising body temperature. Then it will allow it to drop and trigger sleepiness in a period of just a few hours.

    How Much Exercise You Need For Better Sleep

    People are not sure for how long they should exercise to experience the exercise benefits. People are not sure if they are going to need weeks, months or even years. However, the good news is that basically, the people who engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise may see a difference in sleep quality that same night. And that is fast, no? You don’t have to run a marathon to become a better sleeper.

    You will have to invest some hard time into finding the right activity or exercise for yourself. For example, yoga can elevate your heart rate that will contribute to better quality sleep. If you are feeling that a specific activity will help you more with your sleep you should go for it!

    Should You Exercise At Night?

    If you are still not sure whether or not you should workout at night, make sure that you do more research and even talk to your doctor if you need someone to clear up some things for you.

    As we mentioned earlier, exercise at night won’t mess up your sleep. However, there is just one exception here. As it turns out, vigorous training within an hour before bedtime is not so beneficial either to your body or sleep.

    Good to know: Vigorous training is a physical activity done with a large amount of effort while being highly intense at the same time.

    If you are not sure why this is the case, just think about the nature of this workout. During these exercises, you will always have a high or higher heart rate and heavy rapid breathing. If you would want to talk during this phase you would only be able to sleep in short phrases due to heavy and rapid breathing. Simply said, vigorous training is defined as training in which a person is unable to talk.

    Vigorous training is often performed by professional athletes when they have an important competition. However, this type of training (intense training one to two hours before the bedtime) is not advised if you are want to improve your sleep. One hour is not enough to recover enough before you go to bed.

    Good to know: After this training heart will beat more than 20 beats per minute once the training is done. Twenty-beats-per-minute is much more than a resting heart rate.

    Exercise For Better Sleep

    If you are feeling like you are missing energy, that you are sleepy during the day and that overall you don’t know what to do about your bedtime routine or how to stop hitting that snooze button maybe you should think about how healthy or active your lifestyle actually is.

    In general, people should spend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week and when you break that down to 7 days a week that’s just 21 minute and 41 seconds per day. You can walk off that statistic easily and maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, if you prefer more intense workout than daily walks, you should think well and find a sport and time of the day that suits you.

    Try morning exercise one day and night version the following day, and write down how you feel and just sum up how you were feeling after each active and what time suited you more and you are ready to go. You should know that unless you are having a heavy one-hour-before-the-bedtime workout, you can exercise whenever it suits you right, just listen to your body.

    If you insist on vigorous training or competitions, just schedule them earlier in the day, if possible of course. Bear in mind that there are no two identical people in the world that will react the same to exercise. Therefore, it’s crucial to listen to your body and if you notice that you are having any problems falling asleep then you should rethink your exercise, make it shorter, more moderate and so on.

    But, if you love running before your sleep, or as soon as the dark starts, be assured that you exercising at night won’t interfere with your sleep. Simply said, exercising in the evening doesn’t have a negative effect.

    Sleep And Exercise – Key Takeaways

    Your sleep can be much better if you create a proper bedtime routine, avoid night cup and have a good tea before you go to bed and add some proper exercise and you will be set for a much better sleep and healthier sleep.

    There is a strong connection between sleep and exercise. This link is even seen as a low-cost treatment for insomnia. In some cases exercise can even help dealing with morning headache.

    Exercise has positive effects on sleep quality, the overall amount of time it takes to fall asleep, even sleep efficiency and total sleep time. If you invest only 30 minutes of your time into exercise every day you will see significant changes in your mood and overall health. The key is to listen to your body needs and find perfect exercise time. After all, you will be fitter and sleep better, which is a win-win situation.

    Frequently Asked Questions On Sleep And Exercise

    1. Is It Okay To Workout Before Sleeping?

    It is OK if you exercise moderately and not two hours before you go to sleep. So, if you’ he been exercising intense just before bedtime, stop. Later exercise can impact your heart and sleep cycle negatively. The intense workout won’t tire your body and help you sleep like a baby, it will do more harm. However, if you exercise three hours before sleep and in the moderate level, you will experience benefits.

    2. Do You Need More Sleep When You Work Out?

    You need to remind yourself one thing first and that is – you know your body the best, so make sure that you listen to it carefully. If you start feeling like you need more sleep the chances are that you probably exercise too hard. Lower exercise intensity. On the other hand, if you wake up groggier than normal, you will need to rethink your priorities and get that extra hour of sleep.

    3. How Does Sleep Affect Your Workout?

    You should always bear in mind that your body loves to sleep. Furthermore, your body simply can’t recover without proper sleep from any kind of exercise. Lack of sleep can affect your diet and eating habits. Interestingly, but research found that sleep loss can interfere with hunger hormones increasing appetite during the entire day and brings on cravings.

    4. How Many Pushups Should I Do Before Bed?

    The number of pushups depends only on your fitness level. If you’re a beginner, you should start with 5 to 10 pushups and increase the number until your fitness and strength levels improve.

    5. How Many Hours Of Sleep Do I Need If I Workout?

    The average adult human needs about 8 hours of sleep a day. When it comes to that feeling of being well-rested, it doesn’t matter how long you sleep, but rather what quality is the sleep you are getting. This is equal to muscle building. Optimum hours of sleep is 7-8, per day.