Sleep Better with Exercise

Research shows that regular exercise will help you sleep better

Lack of sleep leads to problems completing a task, concentrating, making decisions, and working with and getting along with other people, as well as unsafe actions.

  • Sleep duration is related to length of life, with a greater risk of death in those sleeping fewer than 6 hours a night
  • Sleep deprivation is linked to approximately 100,000 vehicle crashes and 1,500 deaths each year.
  • Insomnia early in adult life is a risk factor for the development of clinical depression and mental health disorders.
  • A night’s sleep consists of four or five cycles, each of which progresses through several stages.
  • During each night, a person alternates between non–rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. The entire cycle of NREM andREM sleep takes approximately 90 minutes.

The average adult sleeps 7.5 hours (five full cycles), with 25% of that in REM. By age 70, total sleep time decreases to approximately 6 hours (four sleep cycles), but the proportion of REM stays approximately 25%. Sleep efficiency is reduced in elderly individuals with an increased number of awakenings during the night.In NREM sleep, brain activity, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure,and metabolism (vital signs) slowdown and body temperature falls asleep, restful state is reached. The brainwaves slow in NREM, a state termed‘‘slow-wave sleep’’ by sleep researchers. Slow-wave sleep usually terminates with the sleeper changing position.

The National Sleep foundation reports that 74% of adults in the United States experience a sleeping problem a few nights a week or more, 39% get less than 7 hour of sleep each weeknight, and 37% are so sleepy during the day that it interferes with daily activities. According to a report issued by the National commission on Sleep Disorders Research, 30% to 40% of people in the United Sates have insomnia within any given year, defined by the National Institutes of Health as an experience of inadequate or poor quality sleep. Characteristics of insomnia include the following: difficulty falling asleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, waking up too early in the morning, non-refreshing sleep, daytime tiredness, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.

For most of us who are having trouble sleeping, there’s a simple cure: exercise. Working out regularly has been shown to reduce episodes of insomnia. What’s more, it promotes improved sleep quality by producing smoother, more regular transitions between the cycles and phases of sleep.

Moderate exercise lasting 20 to 30 minutes three or four times a week generally results in better sleep and more energy. You may have to find your own exercise rhythm-– some people can exercise any time, while others do better if they work out in the morning or afternoon, not near bedtime. But, vigorous exercise during the day and mild exercise before bedtime will not only help you fall asleep and stay asleep more easily, but will increase the amount of time you spend in deepest sleep phase (Stage 4 sleep).

Exercise Workout Routines to try:

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One thought on “Sleep Better with Exercise

  1. If exercise were a drug, it would be the most prescribed medicine in the world.  Exercise contributes to great sleep, a relaxed attitude, and just feeling great.  The downside: exercise takes discipline and short-term discomfort.  But it's worth it! 

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