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THE SCIENCE BEHIND SLEEP AND EXERCISE

When you make time for a workout during the day, you are paving the way to a better quality sleep at night.

Recent studies suggest that exercise can improve your quality of sleep - but it has to be done consistently over a prolonged period of time before experiencing this positive effect. As many of us know, there are endless advantages of exercising, such as the lowered risk of various diseases and anxiety, as well as stress, and now to add to that list, a better night’s sleep.

What the Research Shows

Research is still underway that explores the science behind exercise and sleep, but thus far a few studies have been conducted whose conclusions are interesting to note. In one study, people in their 60s, who are mainly sedentary and have been diagnosed with insomnia, started working out. Within their 16-week exercise programme, they started to sleep longer and wake up less frequently at night. As you can see, it took almost 16 weeks for the exercise to show an improvement in sleep quality.

Another study was conducted with younger participants: teenagers who are athletes. The athletes reported an improved sleeping pattern and experienced heightened alertness during the day when compared to their peers who exercised less than they did.

Of course, there are other factors to consider when discussing the link between exercise and sleep quality, such as the duration of exercise and which time of day to exercise for the best results. While research is ongoing, the following has been noted by experts: those who exercised in the afternoon felt that their sleep was of better quality compared to those who only worked out in the morning.

It is not recommended to exercise just before bedtime.

Are You Ready to Start Exercising?

Changing your lifestyle to include exercise can be a big step, but the benefits in the long-run are certainly worth the effort. The research between exercise and sleep has not been concluded yet but it is safe to deduce that you may just end up sleeping better the more consistently you stick to an exercise routine.