The majority of people claim that they don’t exercise on a regular basis because they are too tired. We want to exercise because we know that it is good for us. Research finds new benefits every day. Regular exercise improves heart health and blood pressure, builds bone and muscle, helps combat stress and muscle tension, and can even improve mood.
Add one more benefit: SOUND SLEEP.
Exercise can help you sleep sounder and longer and feel more awake during the day.
Exercising vigorously right before going to bed (within about three hours of bedtime) can make it harder to fall asleep. Vigorous exercise right before bed stimulates your heart, brain and muscles. It also raises your body temperature. This is the opposite of what you want before going bed.
Morning exercise can relieve stress and improve your mood. This can indirectly improve sleep. Exposure to natural light in the morning can also improve your sleep at night by reinforcing your body’s sleep-wake cycle.
Vigorous exercise in the late afternoon or early evening appears to be most beneficial. That’s because it raises your body temperature above normal a few hours before bed, allowing it to start falling just as you’re getting ready for bed. This decrease in body temperature appears to be a trigger that helps ease you into sleep.
A cardiovascular workout is considered vigorous exercise, keeping your heart rate up and your muscles pumping continuously for at least 20 minutes. Although strength-training, stretching, yoga, and other methods of exercise are beneficial, none match the sleep-enhancing benefits of cardiovascular exercise.
Try to schedule at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise three or four times a week. Choose whatever activity you enjoy. Walk to and from work, or walk the dog. Jog, swim, bike, ski, jump rope, dance or play tennis — just make it part of your routine.
Be sure to start exercising slowly, gradually increasing your workout time and intensity, so you don’t get sidelined by injury. Remember, regular exercise can help you feel, look and sleep better.
Now that you figured out how to better ready yourself for a good night’s sleep, wouldn’t it be a shame if your mattress is preventing you from doing so?
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