I have some interesting news for you today about how your workouts can help you sleep better.
You already know that working out regularly helps improve your sleep. It only makes sense that if you make your body tired, you’ll sleep better.
In fact, some research shows that regular exercise has the same impact on your sleep as sleeping pills!
But there’s some cool new info about exactly how workouts can improve your sleep.
First, moderate aerobic exercise (cardio workouts like jogging, biking, the elliptical, most cardio classes, etc.) reduces stress and lifts your mood to help make it easier to fall asleep. But it goes deeper than that.
It also can increase how much slow wave (aka “deep”) sleep you get at night – this is a super important stage of sleep because it’s when your body restores and rejuvenates.
The best news is you don’t have to wait months for this effect to happen. According to sleep experts at Johns Hopkins, if you do a 30-minute cardio workout today, you’ll probably feel the results tonight!
But what if you prefer lifting weights, playing a sport, or doing yoga or HIIT training? As long as your heart rate is elevated during your workout, it really doesn’t matter.
One last thing I want you to be mindful of is the timing of your workout – it shouldn’t be too close to bedtime, since your body might be too revved up to fall asleep. Try to finish your workout at least a few hours before bedtime.
The cooldown effect from your workout – as your body returns back to its normal state – might even help, since your body naturally drops its temperature as you fall asleep.
The takeaway: heart-pumping workouts done at least a few hours before bedtime will help you sleep better and longer, and improve your body’s rest and recovery!