Do you ever experience difficulty falling asleep or find yourself waking up in the middle of the night? Do you also experience sleepiness during the daytime or experience a challenge in concentrating? All these are symptoms of insomnia. Chronic insomnia is the most popular sleep disorder in adults. Sleep has a significant impact on your productivity during the daytime. Aerobic exercises can help improve sleep quality and duration at night and increase your concentration levels during the daytime. The following are the benefits of exercise in improving sleep:
Relief From Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is a leading cause of sleepless nights among people of all ages. The elderly are, however, the most affected due to many reasons including reduced immunity due to old age and chronic illnesses. Physical activity helps keep at bay, some chronic diseases associated with sedentary lifestyles such as cardiovascular, hypertension, and diabetes. Exercise has also been found to increase pain tolerance making you able to sleep soundly for long.
Healthy Brain and Sharp Memory
Regular exercise helps promote brain growth and development. Exercise enhances the flow of blood rich in nutrients to the brain making you productive during the daytime when you most require to be sharp and focused and at night, endorphins, making the brain to regenerate and relax. Exercise also helps prevent elderly adults from suffering from neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease which are age-related and affects their ability to fall asleep.
Exercise Alleviates Stress
Stress is one of the reasons why you spend sleepless nights. When you are stressed, your whole body aches, thus affecting how fast you can fall asleep and also the duration of your sleep. Most of the time, you will have a thing or two to worry about, but this should not affect your ability to sleep. Exercise helps you forget about your woes albeit momentarily, to be able to see issues from a different perspective. Exercise has also been found to help increase mental strength which increases your problem-solving skills.
Exercise Enhances the Quality of Your Sleep
Besides making you fall asleep fast, exercise promotes the quality of your sleep by ensuring a smooth transition between its different stages. This provides that no stage takes more time than it should be, which would deprive the succeeding stage of the required amount of time. Exercise helps restore the balance between your sleep stages. You should be mindful of when to exercise and the level of exercise required to make you have quality sleep. Avoid strenuous exercises when you are 3- 4 hours away from going to bed since drowsy effects from exercising will be long overdue, making it hard for you to fall asleep.
Exercise Helps You Sleep for More Hours
Regular exercise helps improve sleep quality among people who have chronic insomnia. Light aerobic exercise such as brisk walking helps reduce the time taken before one can fall asleep. As you exercise, your body temperature rises more so, during the afternoon. Your body temperature takes about four hours after you are through with exercise before it can cool down. A higher than average body temperature interferes with your ability to fall asleep. Your core body temperature drops from late in the afternoon in preparation for sleep. The process of cooling down provides a drowsy soothing effect on the mind making you have a deep sleep.
Also, exercise helps fight against insomnia by lowering anxiety, arousal, and depression which are the primary causes of insomnia.
Exercise Helps Fight Against Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a severe medical condition that is characterized by breathing stoppages during sleep. Persons suffering from the condition exhibit symptoms such as snoring, tiredness, and high blood pressure. The condition predisposes a patient to other health risks including heart attack and stroke. Regular exercise helps fight against obstructive sleep apnea by increasing blood flow and promoting weight loss. Most people who suffer from sleep apnea are obese or overweight.
Exercise Reduces Daytime Sleepiness
Regular physical activity lowers the tendency to sleep during the day by regulating the circadian rhythms making you become alert during the daytime and have enough sleep at night. Exercise reduces the severity of major causes of daytime sleepiness including obesity, depression, and sleep deprivation. This benefit spreads across all ages.