EXERCISE AND SLEEP: WHAT DOES THE SCIENCE SAY?
We’ve all been there. You’ve had dinner and a shower and you’ve cozied up with a book to lull yourself to sleep. A half an hour goes by, but you’re still awake. Then, you switch to social media and waste 30 minutes scrolling so you figure, ‘I’ll just turn off the lights and close my eyes – that will help.’
So, you lay there in the dark. Awake.
For the next few weeks, you try melatonin tablets, herbal teas, and lavender oil diffusers. They all help but still, you’re not sleeping properly. Well, it turns out that if you haven’t tried upping your exercise routine, you may have missed a major factor in sleep improvement.
Exercise and sleep have an interconnected relationship meaning that improving one improves the other and vice versa. So, what are the facts? Here’s what some studies have found.
MOST STUDIES SHOW THAT EXERCISE IMPROVES SLEEP QUALITY AND DURATION
In a study by Paul D. Loprinzi and Bradley J. Cardinal from the December 2011 issue of the Mental Health and Physical Activity Journal, participants who felt overly sleepy during the day had a 65% improvement in their daytime sleepiness with 150 minutes of weekly exercise. These findings came after controlling for BMI, health status, smoking status, and depression.
Getting is 150 minutes of exercise is the normal guidelines set forth on a national level. This equates to 30 minutes of activity, five days a week and this study found that setting aside these 150 minutes a week created major sleep improvements.
A 65% improvement is incredible and it just goes to show how beneficial exercise can be for your general well-being. A half an hour is nothing! Especially with the OOMPH app, you can bust out 30 minutes of fun, yet challenging kickboxing right from your phone.
STUDIES HAVE ALSO SHOWN THAT EXERCISE HELPS IMPROVE REM SLEEP
Experts agree that sleep, exercise, and good nutrition have an interrelationship as the building blocks of health. The connection between sleep and exercise has been widely researched and although sleep is still a relatively mysterious function, exercise seems to improve its variety of processes.
Sleep is separated into slow-wave sleep, rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, and N2 sleep. Findings have consistently shown that adopting a regular exercise schedule leads to better sleep in all three of these categories.
Ready to sleep soundly through the night? Try incorporating an exercise routine and see the results for yourself! Start your 7-day free trial and catch some much-needed z’s as a result.