We all want a deep, nourishing sleep, especially as we grow older and juggle multiple life demands.
A lack of sleep leads to poor concentration, lack of productivity, and can increase your risk of accidents the next day.
Yet, many people find it hard to find the right recipe for good sleep. Here’s one important tip to try right away for quality rest.
Getting regular exercise is critical for rejuvenating sleep. If you’re not getting exercise, start as soon as possible.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, people who commit to regular exercise get the best sleep.
Exercise eases stress and tension, and promotes relaxation for deeper sleep.
Even better, you don’t need hours of exercise to get the benefits. Just adding 20-30 minutes of exercise daily can make a significant difference in your quality of sleep.
Early morning exercise is your best choice if you struggle with sleep or have insomnia.
A study published in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows that people who exercise early in the day (7:00 am) for 30 minutes, three times a week, sleep much better, compared to when they exercise at other times of day.
Early exercisers sleep longer and experience deeper sleep cycles. They also have lower blood pressure throughout the day and at night.
This is good news for potentially reducing heart attack risk, which is highest early in the morning when a rush of hormones raises blood pressure.
In addition, an early morning workout heightens your focus and maximizes your energy for the whole day, allowing you to do your best with whatever is on your “to do” list.
Early morning exercise increases metabolism so you burn more calories, aiding weight loss. It helps lower insulin levels and promotes proper blood sugar balance.
Exercise encourages the release of mood enhancing hormones, so you feel happier and less stressed.
Research shows that once your body adjusts to morning exercise, you may actually get a better workout than you would in the afternoon.
Exercising in the morning also frees up time to spend with your family or do the things that interest you in the evening.
Your exercise routine doesn’t have to be complicated in order to work. The research in this article covered people working out on a treadmill, but you can pick the exercise of your choice.
However, I recommend starting with simple stretches to get circulation moving and prepare your muscles for your choice of workouts.
The trick with exercise is to find something that you like. The more you enjoy your workout, the more you will be likely to commit to it on a regular basis.
Consider a morning yoga class, aerobics, or dance workout. Meet with a friend to play tennis or softball, or go roller skating.
Swimming, walking, light jogging, bike riding, and hiking are other great forms of exercise.
If you want to build your bones, try weight bearing exercises which help deter osteoporosis. Switch your routine around if you get bored and keep at it.
Exercise at any time of day is good for health. The health benefits of regular exercise are so profound that exercise at any time of day is better for your body than no exercise at all.
However, exercise late in the day can give you a rush of energy that actually makes it harder to sleep.
Make that extra effort to set your alarm early to start your exercise program. The health benefits are significant, and your body will reward you with a deeper, more refreshing sleep at night.
ASU News (2011, June) Early morning exercise is best for reducing blood pressure and improving sleep. Retrieved from University News – Appalachian University, http://www.news.appstate.edu/2011/06/13/early-morning-exercise/
Chtourou, H. & Souissi, N. (2012, July) The effect of training at a specific time of day: a review. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research; 26(7), 1984-2005.
Cologlu, M. (2016, July) Eight benefits to working out in the morning. Retrieved from Body Building, http://www.bodybuilding.com/content/8-benefits-to-working-out-in-the-morning.html
Dunham, D. (2012, June) What is the best time for exercise? Retrieved from You Beauty,
Goldfarb, A. H., & Jamurtas, A. Z. (1997). B-Endorphin response to exercise. Sports Medicine, 24(1), 8-16.
Klein, S. (2016, May). 37 Science-based tips for better sleep tonight. Retrieved from Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/17/better-sleep-tips-best_n_4958036.html
Narins, E. (2014, July) 15 reasons why you should work out in the morning. Retrieved from Cosmopolitan, http://www.cosmopolitan.com/health-fitness/advice/a29423/15-reasons-why-you-should-work-out-in-the-morning/