Want to sleep better? Pick up a weight!
March 6th, 2013 | posted by Kimberly
Exercise just may be your ticket to a better night’s sleep says a recent survey out of Washington, DC.
The findings, reported by the National Sleep Foundation’s 2013 Sleep in America® poll show a compelling association between exercise and better sleep. “Exercise is great for sleep. For the millions of people who want better sleep, exercise may help,” says David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).
The survey that was released on Monday says that self-described exercisers report better sleep than self-described non-exercisers even though they say they sleep the same amount each night. So your workout not only helps you get to sleep, it helps you sleep better.
“If you are inactive, adding a 10 minute walk every day could improve your likelihood of a good night’s sleep,” says Max Hirshkowitz, PhD, poll task force chair. “Making this small change and gradually working your way up to more intense activities like running or swimming could help you sleep better.”
And here’s a bonus to all you hard core fitness enthusiasts – Vigorous exercisers are almost twice as likely as non-exercisers to report “I had a good night’s sleep” every night or almost every night during the week. They also are the least likely to report sleep problems.
Even better news – contrary to the long-standing “sleep hygiene” tips that advise everyone not to exercise close to bedtime, working out at any time of the day is okay (as long as it’s not at the expense of sleep).
9 Healthy Sleep Tips
To improve your sleep, The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following sleep tips:
- Exercise regularly. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.
- Create an environment that is conducive to sleep that is quiet, dark and cool with a comfortable mattress and pillows.
- Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual, like a warm bath or listening to calming music.
- Go to sleep and wake at the same time every day, and avoid spending more time in bed than needed.
- Use bright light to help manage your “body clock.” Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep to strengthen the association between your bed and sleep. It may help to remove work materials, computers and televisions from your bedroom.
- Save your worries for the daytime. If concerns come to mind, write them in a “worry book” so you can address those issues the next day.
- If you can’t sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.
- If you are experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, or “stop breathing” episodes in your sleep, contact your health care professional for a sleep apnea screening.
Also, read Lose weight while you sleep
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Photo courtesy of: You Beauty