Do you often find yourself lying awake at night, staring at your alarm clock as it ticks away the time? Or, do you wake regularly during the night, leaving you feeling as if you haven’t slept at all?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly half the population reports suffering from at least one symptom of insomnia (difficulty falling asleep, frequent nighttime awakenings, waking up too early, and waking up feeling unrested).
Many of your daily habits likely play a bigger role in your nightly struggles than you think. Both our ability to fall asleep, and the quality of sleep we have are highly dependent on a variety of external and internal stimuli.
Learning about how each activity impacts your sleep patterns can help you make changes and finally get a good night’s rest.
Why An Exercise Routine Helps Regulate Sleep
Body heat: Part of the natural changes our circadian rhythm brings about over the day are changes in body temperature.
The rise and fall of our body temperature associated with exercise mimics the natural fluctuations which lead up to sleep.
This can be enough to gently nudge your circadian rhythms back into ideal synchronization if exercise is performed at the right time of day.
Beneficial stressor: Exercise is a “beneficial stressor” in that it activates sympathetic nervous system (our flight-or-fight response). Your body compensates by increasing the time spent in deep sleep – leaving you feeling more rested.
Decrease stress, anxiety and depression: Many of us experience difficulty falling asleep due to ruminating thoughts related to real or perceived stress.
Exercise has been scientifically proven to reduce reactivity to stressors, so that we are better able to manage stressful situations when they come our way.
It has likewise proven itself to be effective in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Copyright 2017 South Florida Reporter