Is exercise useful to sleep better?
The perfect balance between body and mind is the key to getting the best rest possible. For this reason, it is always recommended to have a proper diet, clearing your mind with activities such as writing and reading, and disconnecting with relaxing sounds. After numerous studies on the subject, it has also been found that a good routine of physical activity can benefit us incredibly at bedtime.
The benefits exercise has on us
Psychologically, exercising is one of the biggest favors you can do to your mind: it is proven that the release of different hormones, such as endorphins, during physical activity improves our mood and self-esteem, as well as reducing anxiety levels, leading to a more willing base for a higher quality rest.
Exercise reduces the risk of hypertension (which makes it difficult to fall asleep) and depression (one of the biggest enemies of rest).
How to apply it and at what time you should exercise
There is no right time or place to exercise: it is something that fully depends on the responsibilities and routines of each one, as well as your preferences. There are those who prefer to go to the gym in the morning and also those who prefer to go late in the afternoon.
Yes, the type of exercise that is practiced at night must be taken into account, since those that require a lot of strength or an intense cardio session will increase our heart rate and secretion of adrenaline, promoting energy and activation of our body, which makes it difficult to rest. Therefore, even if you prefer to exercise at night, it is important not being very active in the 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.
The best types of exercise for resting are aerobics (walking, swimming, running, cycling...), especially in a lower or moderate intensity, because they help reducing the time it takes us to fall asleep and night awakenings, as well as improving the quality of insufficient sleep. They can be combined throughout the week with other more muscular exercises, such as weight lifting or boxing.
If you are one of those people who goes to the gym or plays sports late in the afternoon or late at night, try ending your day with a flexibility session, since this type of exercise promotes muscle strength and balance. Some examples of relaxing and flexibility sports are tai chi and yoga. Finally, muscle relaxation and some good stretching after physical activity are the perfect addition to improve the quality of your sleep and to avoid stiffness and injuries.
More exercise, more rest.