Physical Activity

Activity and Exercise Can Impact Your Sleep

  • Essential Takeaways
  • · From walking and biking to jogging and high-intensity workouts, physical activity can impact the quality of your sleep.

From walking and biking to jogging and high-intensity workouts, physical activity can impact the quality of your sleep. The type of activity, duration, intensity, and timing may all play a role.

Get Moving

It is well known that exercise is good for you. It has positive health benefits, reduces stress and anxiety, and boosts energy levels. Did you know that exercise is also good for your sleep? Exercise has been shown to enhance sleep, specifically the ability to fall asleep more quickly as well as an improvement in sleep quality and total sleep time.

It’s recommended that you get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. Getting your heart rate up through cardio (e.g. running, swimming, cycling, or brisk walking), building muscle through strength training or flowing, and stretching your way through yoga have all been shown to have positive effects on sleep.

Common thinking is that you should finish your exercise by early evening so that your body can cool off. When you exercise, your core body temperature rises, which signals to your body that it’s time to be awake. However, recent literature suggests that if you like working out before bedtime and find that you get a good night’s sleep you don’t have to change your routine.

Pay attention to your physical activity. Exercise is linked to better sleep and is most helpful when done on a regular schedule.

references

  1. Mah CD, Mah KE, Kezirian EJ, Dement WC. The effects of sleep extension on the athletic performance of collegiate basketball players. Sleep. 2011;34(7):943-950. Published 2011 Jul 1. doi:10.5665/SLEEP.1132

  2. Knowles OE, Drinkwater EJ, Urwin CS, Lamon S, Aisbett B. Inadequate sleep and muscle strength: Implications for resistance training. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 2018;21(9):959-968. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2018.01.012

  3. Kline CE. The bidirectional relationship between exercise and sleep: Implications for exercise adherence and sleep improvement. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2014;8(6):375-379. doi:10.1177/1559827614544437

  4. SR; DHST. Exercise and sleep. Sleep medicine reviews. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12531177/. Published September 8, 2020. Accessed January 22, 2021.

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