You move, you snooze! It's that simple.
Exercise is one of our favourite natural sleep aids ~ not only does it make you feel oh so good, just 30 minutes of exercise helps to induce a deep, restorative sleep.
The second and third pillar of health (exercise and sleep, duh!) really are a match made in heaven - here's why:
- Exercise reduces stress and anxiety, hello endorphins! Calmer, happier days = better sleep! When we're feeling more relaxed and worry-free, our sleep comes more naturally, and is usually deeper and less disturbed. A quiet mind before bed is a sleep saviour!
- Exercise burns energy. You burn more than just calories during a workout - you deplete and use energy which naturally makes you feel more sleepy at the end of the day.
- Exercise regulates rhythm. We speak a lot about our magic little internal body clock. When you're sticking to a regular workout routine, chances are you're waking at the same time every day, or training your body to settle into a healthy Circadian Rhythm. Win-win!
- Exercise changes your core body temperature. Your body increases its temperature while exercising (hello sweat!) and drops afterwards which mimics the body temperature changes the happen before and during sleep.
Not running out the door yet?
Here's Some of Our Favourite Ways to Get Moving for Better Sleep (With a Workout Style for Everyone!)
Aerobic (or Cardio) Exercise
Activities that get your heart rate up, such as running, brisk walking, cycling and swimming are shown to improve sleep and combat insomnia.
Just a 30-minute walk can make you fall asleep faster, and sleep for longer. Not to mention the benefits for your mind - nothing is quite as relaxing or calming as an outdoor work! Take a walk to clear your mind and get rested.
Best results are seen when done consistently in an exercise routine for 4 weeks - our favourite word, routine, makes another appearance.
Building muscle is proven to improve sleep quality, and can also help you fall asleep faster and wake up less frequently during the night.
Not only does weight training take credit for helping you sleep better, it helps you fall asleep faster and even sleep more deeply; this is because muscle growth and deep sleep are interdependent.
When you sleep deeply, it aids your body’s hormone balance, which in turn helps the repair and growth of muscle. In fact, sleep itself encourages tissue repair and growth and is a necessary and continual healing process. Strength exercises include shoulder presses, bicep curls, tricep dips, squats, lunges, calf raises, sit- ups and push-ups.
If stress is keeping you awake, yoga, with its relaxing poses, body stretching and focus on controlled breathing, might just be your ticket to a good night’s sleep. It’s been shown that insomnia sufferers who practise daily yoga for eight weeks fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.